Barnes and Noble has been looking for alternative ways to leverage their 600 bookstores to be a little more profitable. The company has recently started selling Vinyl Records and it looks like they might be selling wine and craft beers.
The Nations largest bookseller has just applied for a beer and wine license from the New York State Liquor Authority. Keven Danow, a New York City-based attorney who consulted with Barnes & Noble on the license application said that select locations will try-out selling beer and wine from the stores cafes to see how customers like the concept. It is very likely that food menu offerings would be tweaked to offer items better paired with beer or wine.
The first bookstore to serve as a test location will be the New Hartford location at 4811 Commercial Drive. I have heard the store operating hours will not change, so it is unlikely that will will offer beverages during author signings or do random after-hours events.
I remember one of the coolest bookstore experiences I ever had was in New York for Book Expo America and there was a small party in an indie bookstore. There were about two hundred people in attendance and everyone was drinking wine and beer, talking and listening to live music. If Barnes and Noble can somehow leverage some kind of after hours social gathering that is exclusively populated by bookworms, they could be onto something special. It remains to be seen if they would ever do something like this, but at least they are trying different things.