The Japanese Bookstore Moving into the Former Guild Theatre Will Open This Summer

Treasured local teashop Behind the Museum Café will open a second location in the bookstore as well.

Kinokuniya's San Francisco Store (courtesy of Kinokuniya USA).

After almost two years of renovations, Japan's Kinokuniya Books has announced that it will open its first Portland location in the former Guild Theatre this summer.

Before Kinokuniya began to move in, the historic downtown theater had been vacant for over a decade. The Guild Theatre opened in 1927, but has been unused since 2006. LRS Architects, the firm behind Kinokuniya's renovations, will leave in place the theater's iconic blue-and-yellow art deco marquee.

Kinokuniya is Japan's largest bookstore chain and has dozens of locations across the U.S. It already has a small location in Beaverton, but the Portland store will have a much wider inventory. According to a press release, the shop will stock "carefully selected books, unique merchandise and Japanese stationery, with a focus on art and comics from Japan."

It will also have a cafe run by Portlander Tomoe Horibuchi, owner of the much loved Behind the Museum Café, which specializes in matcha drinks and desserts. Horibuchi's two cafes will be just blocks from one another, but her new location will diverge from Behind the Museum's traditionalism. Horibuchi hopes to host events and have a takeout menu.

Read Kinokuniya's interview with Horibuchi about her new cafe here, and follow the Portland location's progress on the store's Instagram.

Related: A Japanese Bookstore Is Moving into the Long-Vacant Guild Theatre

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