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‘Bringing together communities:’ MSU professors to open bookstore, cafe and wine bar

February 23, 2022
<p>MSU professors Matt Grossmann and Sarah Reckhow start a new small business: Hooked, a coffee shop, wine bar and bookstore, all in one.</p>

MSU professors Matt Grossmann and Sarah Reckhow start a new small business: Hooked, a coffee shop, wine bar and bookstore, all in one.

Hooked: a coffee shop, wine bar and book store all in one. Owned and dreamt up by MSU professors Matt Grossmann and Sarah Reckhow, the shop is set to open in the spring.

The couple first met in California, where the wine scene was large, and indie coffee shops were easy to come by. Years later, after moving to Michigan, they took a sabbatical in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they were reminded of Lansing’s lack of cafés and wine bars. If that weren’t enough, they arrived home to find two of their local bookstores had closed. 

From there, the idea of “Hooked” was born. 

“That was kind of the point when the idea started to change from just an idea that we talked about very casually, to something we tried to actually create,” Reckhow said.

Because it’s a combination of three niche interests, they hope that the vibe of Hooked will change throughout the day.

“A little brighter coffee-shop feel during daylight hours,” Reckhow said. “But shifting to a little bit more wine-bar feel in the evening.”

The shop will also inevitably serve different audiences throughout the day due to its location. It is located at 3142 E. Michigan Ave., Suite F in Lansing, but remains less than a mile away from campus. 

“We really want to be welcoming to this very wide range of communities,” Reckhow said. “Everyone from the seniors, to the students, to folks like us, who have kids.”

The café will always be serving cappuccinos or your favorite vanilla lattes, but a large focus will be on getting customers to try new things. The couple will host wine tastings often and offer monthly subscriptions to try different coffees and wines. 

“We hope it brings a community space for people to explore new interests,” Reckhow said. “Learn about new topics, taste and try new things and meet and gather.”

Once you make it past the beverage section of the shop, Grossmann says you’ll be surrounded by 10,000 books. The selection will be largely general interest books, but the couple still plans to draw inspiration from their own interests.

“We want to be able to have MSU faculty books actually available for sale,” Reckhow said. “Bringing together communities, that’s part of our goal.”

As political scientists, Reckhow said there would also be a section that specializes in current affairs, more than the average bookstore. They will also carry a large selection from Michigan authors.

Hooked is still under construction but is tentatively planned to open on April 19. The bar and tables will be built from wood purchased from the MSU Forestry Department. The ties to the university are a tribute to just how eager the couple is to connect Lansing to the college community. 

“We do also hope that it sort of serves as a connector,” Grossmann said. “So that it ends up being a space where students feel welcome, so do retirees, and I think that’s gonna be hard to do, but I think we’re kind of well positioned to do that.”

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