It's been over five years since Bestsellers Cafe last opened its doors for business, but it looks like the end of the hiatus is now almost in sight for the former Medford Square staple.
Rob Dilman, the cafe's owner, appeared before the City Council Tuesday night seeking a common victuallers license, which was granted unanimously. A food permit from the board of health is the last obstacle remaining for the bookstore/coffee shop/lunch spot located at 24 High St. to re-open for business.
"It’s a fantastic spot and I’m looking forward to getting back into the community," Dilman said Tuesday.
The store closed in 2007 when property owner Michael Casoli began building renovations originally expected to take six to 18 months. But the project hit a snag with soil problems beneath the building, and has since dragged on slowly.
As of Tuesday night's council meeting, it had been 5 years 2 months and 10 days, since it last opened, Dilman said.
"But who's counting?" Dilman said lightly Tuesday.
The cafe will feature books, coffee and sandwiches, like it did before the 2007 closing, Dilman said. It was also have its own baked goods and sell loaves of artisanal bread, he said.
Along with food, drink and books, there will be a focus on bringing in authors, musicians and lecturers, Dilman said. The license allows the cafe to be open until 11 p.m., but regular hours will not run that late in the beginning, Dilman said. It will open at 7 a.m. during the week, he said.
City Councilor Rick Caraviello, the former director of the Medford Chamber of Commerce, said he used to constantly receive questions about the cafe's hiatus.
"People would call every week," he said Tuesday. "Two to four calls a week saying 'What’s happening to Bestsellers?' 'Whats happening to Bestsellers?'"
For updates on the cafe's progress, check out its Facebook page.