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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Liquor store, bindery uses library ambience for appeal

Elizabeth Vore, owner of Main Street Liquor and Bookbinding in Mound City, has worked to create a unique atmosphere in the store she opened in December. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

Retail liquor stores seem to always have the same ambiance. Fluorescent-lit aisles with metal shelving packed tight with bottles. End displays with bright, four-color promotional signage touting the product below.

Stepping into Main Street Liquor and Bookbinding at 508 W. Main St. in Mound City evokes a different feeling.

Wooden shelves with tastefully arranged bottles reach toward the ceiling. A ladder that might be found in the study of an English manor or an upscale bookstore slides along the wall on rails.

Books, at least one dating back to the 1800s, are nestled between bookend bottles. A couch sits in the middle of the display floor, inviting the shopper to have a seat, take some time and even read a book.

On top of one of the display shelves are samples of books bound by Elizabeth Vore, the store’s proprietor.

“I wanted it to feel like a library,” Vore said as she arranged bottles on the counter near her cash register the week after Christmas. “I want it to be more than a liquor store.”

Vore, the daughter of rural La Cygne-based Isinglass Estate Winery owners Brandon and Sarah Vore, said she plans to add more couches and a table that will encourage people to stop in, read or buy a book and visit with friends.

With Stonetree Coffee and Pottery, a popular gathering place, just across the street and plans by Blue Dog Wine Co. to open a tasting room a few steps from the coffee shop, Vore said her store will add to the appeal of the Mound City’s main thoroughfare.

Vore said she worked alongside the contractor to rehab the space. Behind those ceiling-high display racks are brick walls stripped of plaster capped with a lofty ceiling with plaster exposed.

She also has a penchant for bookbinding, a skill she picked up and mastered while attending Yale as a member of the Guild of Bookmakers there. Hence the store’s name.

She currently is working at repairing a family Bible, and she can make everything from custom journals and books to editions with Japanese style bindings.

The books that are tastefully tucked in between bottles are also for sale. Vore, an admitted bibliophile, said many of the books for sale there are collectors’ editions, including a pharmacy guide dating back to the 1800s.

Vore has worked hard to create a retail business that has the quiet appeal of a library and a place for people to just hang out. And by all measures, she has succeeded.

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