Launched as a "bookstore cafe with a lawn" in 2017, Bengal Boi has played a significant role to thrive readership among the youth
Bengal Boi, one of the dearest and beloved bookstores in Dhaka known for catering book-lovers since 2017, has reopened the store and cafe at the Bengal Shilpalay in Dhanmondi, pleasing the book-lovers who started worrying about its recent state after its shutdown and eviction from its previous space.
The popular bookstore reopened its activities at the ground floor of Bengal Shilpalay Bhaban in Dhanmondi 27 from September 4 - after being in lockdown state and suspending activities several times since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Previously on August 25, the store announced from its official Facebook page that it is going to stop its operations at the previous place. After the announcement, book-lovers and regular attendees at the store lamented on social media in fear of losing another "breathing space" in the capital.
"We had to shift from our previous location which was a beloved place to the book-lovers since 2017, and many of our regular customers feared that if this was the end. We are pleased to announce that we are not; in fact, we are now reopened in our very own space at Bengal Shilpalay in Dhanmondi 16 [old 27]," Golam Sarwar Farouqui, manager of operations at Bengal Boi, told UNB.
He informed that the new arrangement has expanded its famous cafe space at its lawn, along with a coffee shop on its second floor. However, the book store had to be minimized in some capacity than the previous space but he informed UNB that it will expand soon, utilizing the structure of Bengal Gallery at the building.
"This is just the beginning of many exciting new ventures at our own space. We are really happy to see the book-lovers started coming back to their favourite store for having the breath of fresh air again in the capital since our relaunching on Friday [September 4]. Like previously, we are ensuring our commitment to our customers by maintaining adequate social distancing and health safety guidelines," Farouqui said.
He added that despite the uncertainty, the store did not sack any of its employees and they all resumed their regular activities in the new space. For catering to the regular customers, the store started its online delivery of books back in June.
'Amazing space to have quality time'
Upon visiting the new space on September 5, the correspondent talked to some of the book-loving urban crowd who came to the newly-located store after a long period of time due to the lockdown.
"It has always been an amazing space to have quality time with books and buddies. I could not wait to visit the new space, and it feels good to see its revival," said Fuad, a university student.
"I was a regular at its previous space and became emotional after knowing that they would not reopen at the previous place. Just a couple of days ago we saw the same situation with Star Cineplex at Bashundhara City, another favourite place of people like myself who loves movies and books, so I was afraid of losing this place too but it turned out even better at this new space," Afrin, a teacher at an English medium school in Dhanmondi, said.
Launched as a "bookstore cafe with a lawn" enthralling the urban book-lovers and lit-enthusiasts on November 14, 2017, Bengal Boi has played a significant role to thrive readership among the youth.
Since launching, the platform regularly hosts music and poetry recitals, reading sessions for book clubs, book launchings, musical sessions and film screenings at its previous space in Lalmatia.
The new location is just a two-minute walk from its previous space and open to all from 10am to 10pm every day and 9am to 10pm on government holidays.