Former Wall Street Hot Shot Noelle Santos Gives Back To Her Community By Opening The Lit. Bar On Alexander Avenue

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For a few years now, the Bronx has been without a single bookstore.

But now the borough is turning a new page. On Sunday, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez checked out a new bookstore that offers more than just literature.

The Lit. Bar in Mott Haven (Photo: CBS2)

There’s been something missing in the Bronx, namely a bookstore.

But one just found a home on Alexander Avenue in Mott Haven.

The new Lit. Bar is now the only book store in the borough.

“All the bookstores that we did have are gone. Hunts Point, Barnes & Noble, everything is gone. So with the rebuild of this neighborhood, this is what we needed,” Mott Haven resident Ty Capers said.

Owner Noelle Santos, who is Bronx born and raised, has had a passion for reading since she was a child. After winning money in a business startup competition in 2016, years volunteering in book stores, and raising more than $170,000 in a crowdfunding campaign, Santos finally opened up the Lit. Bar this weekend. It features not only books for all ages, but also a wine bar.

“This is my give-back to the community,” Santos said. “Before I was doing this, I worked on Wall Street as an HR director and in accounting. And I lit my life on fire to do this for my community because there was such a big need.”

“Books are so important. Books are so necessary for our children to grow, as individuals, as readers,” Mott Haven resident Jennifer Marchany said.

“When I heard it was opening, I was thinking that it was good that now that there’s books here people could come here and buy books and learn more about the world,” 8-year-old London Soto added.

What’s special about this store is that most of what’s sold here is uniquely the Bronx, with books catering to the people who live here.

And that includes the children’s books by Bronx native and author Ty Allan Jackson.

“To see these little children pick up my books and see that they reflect them, it’s really incredibly special,” Jackson said.

“I like about books. They give me lots of knowledge,” one young person said.

“Reading is fun,” another added.

And Santos said she hopes by making books more accessible, unlikely readers will take on literary adventures of their own.