ABOVE: Owner Crissy Stile in front of Barrel of Books & Games future location.
Mount Dora’s kids and adults are going to get more of a good thing this fall. That’s when downtown’s popular retailer, Barrel of Books & Games, is expected to open in its much larger location. The independent bookstore, currently located on 4th Avenue, will move across the street to 403 N. Donnelly Street. The prime corner space had been kept vacant since The Drawer, a women’s boutique, closed its doors in 2014.
This will be the third location in downtown Mount Dora for Barrel of Books & Games after outgrowing its two previous retail spaces. It originally opened on 5th Avenue in 2011 and two years later expanded into its current spaces on 4th Avenue.
The retailer currently has 1,210 square feet of new and used books, as well as games and collectibles. The move into the historic building is anticipated for October 1 and will more than triple the store’s square footage.
The larger space, with its large sheet-glass storefront, will enable the store to expand the children’s book section and bring in more back-issue comic books. There will also be more games, puzzles, collectibles, toys and a huge selection of retired Funko Pops, according to Crissy Stile, the store’s owner.
If her name sounds familiar, that’s because Stile is also the Mayor of Mount Dora. Her store often functions as a de facto office for residents who pop in to ask questions or bring up issues in their neighborhoods.
Stiles’ book business was incubated as an online retailer specializing in used book series in 2006, after Stile amassed a vast collection of books. Eventually, her regular customers requested new releases in the series, so the business began selling new books. “That snowballed into bobble heads and collectibles,and Barrel of Books & Games was born,” said Stile. “My parents, who live in Apopka, always owned their own businesses, so it's in my blood.”
The current location of the store is 128 W. 4th Avenue, and it’s open seven days a week from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.