NEW ALBANY — A new shop will offer both books and coffee in New Albany’s uptown neighborhood.
A used bookstore and coffee shop called Mickey’s is opening this week at 624 Vincennes St. The shop was started by New Albany resident Mickey Ball, who is a co-owner of McQuixote Books & Coffee, a bookshop in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville.
“I think books and coffee are a perfect pair, and that’s why we did it with McQuixote — Louisville had some good bookstores and good coffee shops but nothing together,” Ball said. “And New Albany doesn’t have a bookstore, so I’m really happy I can serve that need for the city.”
Ball is planning to open the doors this Wednesday, but also might have an earlier “soft, soft opening” on Tuesday.
Mickey’s includes an eclectic variety of used books for both adults and children, including hardback and paperback.
The bookstore includes a large selection of literary fiction from classic to contemporary. Ball’s latest favorite read, “The Overstory” by Richard Powers, is one of the books on the shelves.
The bookstore has a handful of antique books, including a copy of “Ben Hur” from the late 1800s. A display near the coffee shop counter has books ranging from Groucho Marx’s autobiography to science fiction novels.
“I like fiction, so fiction’s my thing, but we also have all the kinds of nonfiction that you would think of — history, art, sciences, social justice,” Ball said. “We have an Indiana shelf that spotlights some Hoosier authors, and we have a shelf for just fun stuff that’s hard to categorize.”
Like McQuixote, Mickey’s offers drinks from Good Folks Coffee, a coffee roaster in Louisville. The shop also offers teas from Elmwood Inn Fine Teas in Danville, Kentucky.
The menu will also include sandwiches and baked goods from local bakeries, including Viking Hat Bakery and Payne Street Bakehouse.
The structure was built in the late 1800s, and the space features a number of cozy seating options.
McQuixote has been open for about six-and-a-half years in Louisville, and it is often referred to as Mickey’s, Ball said.
A second bookshop is an idea Ball has been considering for a while, but it hadn’t previously worked out. He branched out on his own to open Mickey’s.
He lives three blocks from the shop, which he started leasing in March.
“My girlfriend and I were out walking the dog and we saw the for lease sign,” Ball said. “So we just kept dreaming about how cool it would be to do it.”
Many friends, family and others in the community donated used books to Ball for the shop, and he visited book sales and yard sales to stock up on inventory.
“Now we have more books than we have shelf space, so that is good,” he said.
Ball wants the bookshop to be a gathering space for the community.
“To me, the coffee shop and bookstore throughout history is like a meeting place, and it’s a communal gathering place, so I just want people to feel comfortable, whoever they are, to come in and not have to go to another neighborhood to have such a thing,” he said.
“Hopefully, that will help other people put in local businesses, and we can just have a nice place for all of us uptown people to walk to,” he said.
The hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.