Bookstore Spotlight: Kramers Books

Bookstore Spotlight: Kramers Books

If youre in the D.C. area, you need to swing by Kramers Books—an iconic independent bookstore, versatile events space, award-winning restaurant, and illustrious bar—all in one. As the owner eloquently describes this iconic bookstore, Since 1976 its been the quintessential gathering place for friendly locals, curious visitors, hifalutin foodies, happy hour revelers, comedy lovers, jazz experts, authors, intellectuals, and frankly, everyone else, too.” Enough said.

Seeing the allure firsthand propelled me to reach out and learn more. General Manager, Andrew Jones shared his perspectives of this cozy bookstore selling new books but with a used book feel.”

I switched careers and began bookselling about five years ago as a seasonal hire at Barnes and Noble,” Andrew said. He shares how being a long-standing customer of Kramers propelled him to jump at the chance to work there when an opening arose, and after starting as a floor manager, he was swiftly promoted to general manager and has held the position for over twenty-two years.

Founded in 1976, the store and restaurant combination became one of the first businesses whose patrons could by coffee and books in one location,” Andrew explains. The lure of best-selling books with coffee and the beloved paperback paired with the evening meal has been keeping patrons coming back at all hours of the day.” He states how this novel distinction became so popular its actually shared as the introduction on their greeting cards.

Our bestselling categories are all genres of fiction as well as history and current events for the political set,” Andrew explained. Because of their rich history, unique offerings, and location amidst the bustling DuPont Circle. Kramers draws plenty of famous and well-known clientele. During my two years at the store, Ive sold books to six heads of state, several ambassadors, television personalities, and cabinet members,” said Andrew. The customers are wonderful, and I love the history of the story.”

In addition to all the books, gifts, food, drinks, and celebrity sightings, Kramers customers can count on a lot of creative fun.

The restaurant has trivia and comedy nights as well as jazz performances,” said Andrew. The bookstore hosts book talks for mostly fiction and current event books and we have a quarterly poetry reading thats very popular.”

For locals and visitors from all over the globe, Kramers has been a Capital destination.

Lovers of books, art, creative expression, and great food and drink know theyll always find something new and inviting in Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café. But much of the attractive atmosphere stems from the staff. Under Andrews leadership, Kramers is a bustling business that in some eyes is a must-see landmark on your tour of D.C.

Images, Interview, and Tour Courtesy of Andrew Jones

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