New Hispanic bookstore showcases Laredo history

Published: Dec. 31, 2019 at 6:23 PM CST
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A new bookstore is showcasing Laredo's culture on its shelves.

The Phoenix Bookstore recently opened its doors to the public, offering a variety of literature and hoping to enact change in the downtown area.

This white exterior and brick walls hold up a lot of history.

"It was built in 1885 by Miles Little, it was a residence but its been many things since then," said co-owner Jose Roberto Cantu Jr. "It's been a duplex, a daycare and printing shop."

Now this building located in downtown Laredo is a bookstore.

After purchasing the building, Margarita Govea and Jose Roberto Cantu Jr. fell in love with the historic feel and they wanted other people to experience it as well.

"I said, 'what a fantastic idea,' to have this amazing building that will alone will bring people into the doors because they are going to want to see the rich Laredo history," said co-owner Govea.

Inside you'll find shelves filled with books, all lit up by chandeliers hanging from the high ceilings. The brick walls, old fireplaces and classic trimmings all add to the building's 19th century charm.

But most importantly, Cantu and Govea made sure the pages on the shelves reflect the community.

"You are going to find a book about Maria, about Mario, about tamales and bunelos. Things that will resonate with you."

The store offers books written in Spanish, English and even Spanglish.

As they launch this venture the couple hopes to make an impact on others that will result in a new life in downtown.

"We are changing the ways city manager and city administrators create ordinance and create rules that regulate this area because we want to be the trendsetters for others to follow."

Pretty soon the owners say they will be opening the doors for community events.