- story by Lisa Monti
California Drawstrings, the popular women’s boutique, is back in its original location on Main Street in the Bay, and Pass Books, the book- and coffee-lovers’ favorite spot, is back in its beachfront location after undergoing a makeover.
“We did a nip and tuck,” quipped Scott Naugle of his Pass Books / Cat Island Coffeehouse storefront on East Scenic Drive. “The building needed to be refreshed after six years of seven days a week, fourteen hours a day of wear by tens of thousands of visitors.
“We repainted the interior, added more ventilation and cooling, rewired to protect against frequent lightning strikes, and rearranged the kitchen and barista equipment to make it more efficient for our chefs and baristas.”
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And happily for shoppers, there are more books on the shelves on both floors than before, Scott noted. It was worth the wait for fans.
“Our customers/guests were wonderful during the six week renovation,” he continued, “walking a few extra feet across the street to our second location in The Commons, where we normally sell only gelato and our freshly-baked goods.”
While the work was underway, Pass Books and its fans didn’t miss a beat. “We had several author events, and our guests were wonderful in lining up down the street and in the courtyard of our second location,” said Scott.
The improvements come as the popular bookstore and coffee shop marks a lucky milestone. “As we reopen in our refreshed building, we begin our seventh year in the structure as a coffeehouse and bookstore.”
Meanwhile, California Drawstrings has moved back to the very building where the New Orleans boutique opened a branch in the Bay ten years ago. Last weekend the boutique moved to its new location in Lulu’s on Main at 126 Main Street. Early next year another New Orleans original, Fleurty Girl, will make its Mississippi debut at 216 Main Street, California Drawstrings’ old location.
Owner Linda Keenan, who’s operated her flagship shop at 812 Royal Street for 36 years, is hosting a sale at both locations while the move is under way. Shoppers can enjoy savings of 25 percent in the new location and 70 percent off everything in the store at 216 Main.
California Drawstrings customers will find the same friendly sales staff working in the new location and also their favorite labels including FLAX, Match Point, Krazy Larry pants and the Fridaze wrinkle-free linen line. The Krazy Larry’s line has a particularly strong following, Linda said. “They’re great pants, and they come up with new prints, colors and fabrics all the time. Most people who try them on love them and come back for more.”
Linda will be headed to market in Las Vegas and Dallas in January, so customers can expect more great finds plus comfort, style and quality at California Drawstrings’ new location.