Previously, owner Dale Mechalas would watch with envious eyes as businesses on Main Street capitalized on events such as First Fridays, while his bookstore, located at 725 W. Second St., stayed relatively unknown.
"Especially during First Fridays, I would see all these people up on Main Street and I would get so jealous. I wondered how we could get these people to come to the best kept secret in Lansdale," said Mechalas.
He tried a variety of measures to secure visitors to his store, including having his employees wear sandwich boards and pass out flyers. Still, nothing seemed to work.
After a year of poking and prodding by Lansdale Mayor Andy Szeleky, Mechalas finally decided to join fellow business owners at the Dresher Arcade, opening a satellite shop to serve as a compliment to his larger store.
"In the last month, he (Mayor Szekely) started stalking me, pushing hard on the idea of moving," said Mechalas, with a hearty laugh.
"It took a lot of arm twisting, but I was able to bring him into the Dresher Arcade," said Szekely.
Both Szekely and Mechalas see the satellite location as a positive addition to Dresher Arcade, which has experienced a rebirth of sorts since the borough began its First Friday campaign.
Mechalas said the satellite store will be more in the vein of a café, complete with a lounge, older books, and coffee readily available. Additionally, there will be a small sampling of the antiques market, which is one of the main attractions of the West Second Street location.
The hope is that the satellite location adds to the artistic ambience of Dresher Arcade, while also generating interest in the main Archive Bookstore and its ephemera.
"We're excited about the fact that it's a nice satellite location to pull people into the big shop over on Second Street," said Mechalas.
While the “big shop” drew in nearly 7,000 customers in 2010, Mechalas envisions a much larger customer base, setting expectations over 10,000 for 2011.
"I can't wait to get out there on Main Street and tell more people about us," said Mechalas.
Check out The Archive online, ironically, at www.thearchivebooksandpaper.com.
The Archive is open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call The Archive at 215-361-7910.