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A Bookstore with a Twist

Flyleaf in Grosse Pointe

Walking into Flyleaf in Grosse Pointe Farms is like being transported to another place. Some have likened its atmosphere to a cafe in Paris or New York. This is exactly what owner and Grosse Pointe native Lindsay Scallen set out to do. 

She also wanted it to feel like a home away from home. For this, she incorporated lots of cozy seating, warm wood tones, fine art, and fireplaces (the mantles came from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City).

"I was trying to figure out a way to bring a bookstore back to Grosse Pointe but have it feel like it's been here for a hundred years," she says. "That's where the idea of the look of the building came from. But then I thought, if people are going to have a book, then maybe they're going to want a cup of coffee, and if they're going to have a cup of coffee, then I'd like to offer pastry. That turned into thinking, 'What if it's at night and they want a glass of wine?' Then we have to have food too! That's where the whole books/bistro/bar concept came in." 

While books are its primary focus, each of the three floors provides patrons a different experience. On the first floor, visitors can sit at the bar or curl up on one of the chairs by the fireplace and enjoy a specialty cocktail. Many fine wines curated by a sommelier also await to be savored. There's a great selection of bourbons and other libations as well.

One can also find a nice variety of merchandise, such as custom bags with the Flyleaf logo, candles, specialty chocolates, journals, reading glasses, wine, and other exciting items.

This is where the kitchen is located too, although people can eat and drink on every floor. "We will change the menu seasonally," says Lindsay. "Our chef, André Fuentes, is very creative, so he'll keep coming up with something new."

Bistro burgers, homemade French fries with three different homemade dips, caviar, different specialty toasts, and other delicious offerings are also on the menu.

The coffee served is a unique blend found only at Flyleaf. "Just like we did for our wine tastings, we had multiple coffee tastings and came up with our own blend in collaboration with Coffee House," she says. The coffee features subtle notes of nectarine, chocolate, and walnuts and is roasted in small batches in Detroit.

There are lovely coffee table books and non-fiction books chosen by Lindsay, covering everything from sports and history to science and more. However, the main bookstore, with over 6,800 fictional titles, including a small selection of young adult books, is on the second floor. Lani Martin, its managing director and bookshop manager, puts a lot of thought into the book selection. "As people show us their buying habits, I'll get a better idea of what people in the area are looking for," she says. "We also have a nice collection of classics, which we display in our private room. These are leather bound, cross bound, and very giftable."

Here, guests will also find a large arrangement of comfortable seating, some in front of the two fireplaces, and the Reading Room, which can accommodate eight to 12 people for small events and parties.

The third-floor rooftop, with yet another bar, has a very cool New York City vibe. There are two pergolas and a permanent awning for shade, two fireplaces, and more soft seating with end tables and coffee tables.

"It's a real destination," says Lindsay. For more information, go to FlyleafGP.com.

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