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Weller Book Works opens in Trolley Square

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SALT LAKE CITY -- One of the long-time anchors of Salt Lake City's Main Street is no longer on Main Street.

Sam Weller's bookstore -- now called Weller Book Works -- is in Trolley Square.

The move is the final result of years of planning and a moment Tony Weller dreaded. But the stacks of books are moved, the rare books are too, and slowly the customers are coming in.

Gone is the old Sam Weller's location on Main Street: A fixture for decades.

For some, it will be missed.

"I used to work down here, and I used to go to Sam Weller's and buy books and stuff," said Sandy Pick, who was visiting downtown Salt Lake City. "They've always been here, as long as I've known."

The melancholy over the shop's move could be because one of the last fixtures of Salt Lake City's 'old' main street has left.

Now, it's a row of new buildings, new restaurants and shops. The crown jewel of the new face of downtown is the City Creek Center, waiting to open later this year.

For better or worse, Main Street is changing.

This is my favorite part of Salt Lake. This is why I moved here, because of Main Street.

–Liz Erikson

Brick-and-mortar retail bookstores are facing major challenges from market forces and the Internet, and those appealing discounts coupled with downtown construction hassles were enough to keep even loyal Weller's customers from going to Main Street on a regular basis.

"It became increasingly unpleasant to go downtown and brave the parking and the other aspects that have made downtown rather unpleasant," said shopper Camille Biexei.

Now, Weller's Book Works is part of Trolley Square Mall, and the location is more of a boutique shopping center than a regular mall.

Tony Weller is hoping to capture a new audience in this new, old space.

"We hope we can get them back by making ourselves more convenient and free," he said. "And we're hoping we can get a new audience in the store."

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