A bookstore that opened in New London late last year is already being honored by a local civic organization.
Monte Cristo Bookshop received a rescue award from New London Landmarks at the organization’s annual meeting last week. The award recognizes Christopher and Gina Jones, who own and operate the store, for repurposing a formerly empty Washington Street storefront with the business.
The couple got the idea to start a bookstore early last year. Initially naming it CeeGee’s Independent Bookshop, they changed the name to Monte Cristo Bookshop to honor the building’s former identity, the Monte Cristo Garage. This building was owned by actor James O’Neill, father of playwright Eugene O’Neill, and references the connections to James’ appearances in The Count of Monte Cristo as well as the O’Neill family residence of the Monte Cristo Cottage.
The store opened on Dec. 12 and was funded in part through an online crowd-sourcing effort.
“It wasnt just our owners that did this. None of our shop would have been possible without the help of donors, advocates, and volunteers that helped make it happen,” the bookstore posted on its Facebook page. “They believed in us as people, believed in our dream, and believed in bookstores. We will certainly be giving honorable mentions to them!”
"It is just great to be apprecated by the community at large," Jones added. "We love how supportive people are of businesses downtown. It's unique how New London takes such good care of us."
New London Landmarks also honored Kathleen and Rick Barrett with the preservation award, Barun Basu with the Clifford Stone award, and Barbara Jarnagin with the volunteer award, according to The Day.