New Entertainment at Barnes _ Noble - King's College

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					Ben Brojakowski


9-13-07


The Crown


Entertainment




       All King’s College students view the Barnes and Noble on Public Square in a different

way. Some see it as a building where they need to spend $400 on textbooks. Some look at it as

a place to get away from noisy residence halls when they need to study for an exam the next

morning. Even more look at it as a place to get really good coffee and pastries. However, not

many Students see Barnes and Noble as a place for great live music. New manager, John

Chaump, is trying to change that.


       Chaump, a Philadelphia native who recently transferred to the Wilkes-Barre store, wants

to make this Barnes and Noble different from any other stores where he has worked. He hopes

that the addition of bands in his store will help the Barnes and Noble sales, but his larger goal is

to help downtown Wilkes-Barre.


       “I want to make this more than just a bookstore,” said Chaump. “I want to make it a

destination.”


       Chaump’s goal to make Barnes and Noble a downtown destination may be a new one, but

it is also showing promise. Anyone that has live near Wilkes-Barre for more than five years can

see the downtown area is changing. The additions of Club Mardi Gras and Movies 14 have

helped the downtown revitalization, but Chaump and others believe offering live acoustic and
electric music on a regular basis will make the area even better. Performers such as Three

Imaginary Boys, Steve Husted, Dustin Switzer, and many more will be performing every

Wednesday and Friday nights.


       One of the perks about live music at Barnes and Noble is that it is free. As college

students, most understand how important it is to save money so free entertainment is something

to be desired. Most students know when the local wing nights are, what nights have the best

happy hours, and when the best parties are, but most of those are usually weekend events that

cost money. Live music is just a great way to break many weekly routines.


       The Barnes and Noble staff is well aware of the safety concerns of students due to crime

incidents in the area. Chaump assures that all customers, employees, and performers will be

safe, even if he must involve himself personally.


       Anyone that enjoys the peace and tranquility of Barnes and Noble and may not enjoy

hearing loud, live music can also be happy about this new endeavor. The staff realizes they still

have a bookstore to run, and they assure the music will be quiet enough for shoppers to search

for books and read near the back of the store with minimal disturbance.


       Many local bands and solo artists enjoy playing at Barnes and Noble. Steve Husted,

guitarist for local rock band, Lessen One, plays there on the first Wednesday of every month.

Husted enjoys the chance to perform as a solo artist and play for a smaller crowd. Lessen One

play at numerous bars along the east coast for hundreds of people each night. Although that

sounds like many rock stars’ dream, he enjoys the change of music and scenery when performing

in a bookstore and coffee shop.
       Rob Husty, lead guitarist for Three Imaginary Boys, also enjoys playing for smaller and a

different crowd at Barnes and Noble.


       “We don’t bring all of our equipment or get to play as loud as we normally do,” said

Husty, “but it is great to see all the college kids come here on a Friday night to watch us.”


       Three Imaginary Boys can be seen performing at Barnes and Noble on the first Friday of

every month. Husted and Husty agree that the live entertainment will help the downtown area.

Husty thinks that having a place for both Wilkes and King’s students, along with students from

the surrounding high schools, to get together and see free entertainment will help Barnes and

Noble and other downtown attractions, such as Movies 14.


Hopefully, having music at Barnes and Noble will make students realize that it is more than just

a place to get coffee and buy textbooks. The staff there has worked very hard to book some of

the best local musicians and make it an enjoyable experience for customers and performers alike.

				
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