Last Exit Books will move to new location downtown

Kelly Petryszyn

Businesses in downtown Kent are shifting locations. By the end of the month, Last Exit Books will move from suite one on 124 E. Main St. to suite three in the same building.

Owner Jason Merlene said he is moving the store to gain more space, which will give it an opportunity to host poetry readings and book signings. He said he always wanted to be able to offer these events but couldn’t due to the crowded conditions in his previous store. The new location is big enough to set up a stage and seating area.

He said he hopes the events will draw more shoppers.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Merlene said. “It adds more zest to the days.”

Merlene is moving into a space that used to be Woodsy’s Annex. A few weeks ago, Woodsy’s moved the annex into a property on Depeyster Street behind their main store located at 135 S. Water St.

The new location now allows Woodsy’s to have more room for its full professional audio division and rental company. Before the store had no place to display its audio equipment, Manager Paul Braden said.

In addition to an audio division, the new annex will also act as an area for bands to practice, train and have recitals.

The space will also be used for Woodsy’s Rock School, which offers a variety of programs for musicians to learn how to play in a band and receive a chance to perform at the conclusion of the program.

Woodsy’s started exterior restoration on the Depeyster property last summer, Braden said. He wants to continue fixing up the windows, doors and front of the building this summer. Braden said he is “trying to go along with spiffing up downtown” and he wants the building’s exterior to be completely restored.

These moves will open up a street side property, suite one on 124 E. Main St. No lease has been signed yet.

— Kelly Petryszyn