|North Light leaving Cotati
Bookstore, gift shop relocating to Wolf Den Plaza near SSU
After more than 15 years as a staple of Cotati’s café culture, North Light Books and Café is closing.
“North light will be closing at the end of the month,” said owner Daniela Zazzeron. “We will be moving right down the street.”
The lease is up for the space at the end of the month, and Zazzeron informed her employees she won’t be renewing it at the current location.
The bookstore and gift shop will be relocating to the Wolf Den Plaza across from Sonoma State University, to a smaller space between a taqueria and a frozen yogurt shop.
Christin Niederberger, a North Light employee for the past five years, said some regular customers have taken the news “pretty hard.”
The psychology grad student still had one year of classes at SSU, and she will be looking for a new job as her specialty was the café portion of the business.
“I’m still doing some wishful thinking that someone’s going to buy this place and keep it going,” Niederberger said on Monday.
Rolfe Erickson, a retired professor who visits North Light regularly, was sad to hear of the news.
But, he said, “My philosophy is everything comes to an end,” adding, “This sort of thing is inevitable.”
He was drawn to the combination of a bookstore and café when it first opened and says, “It will be hard to replace the ambiance of North Light Books.” He said he will likely spend more time at Redwood Café, which is down the street.
Reopening the café is out of the question for North Light’s new space because the existing Starbucks in the Wolf’s Den Plaza has a non-competition clause. There is a Starbuck’s in North Light’s current shopping center, but it was opened much later than North Light.
North Light gained massive popularity with Sonoma State students when it began offering textbooks in competition with the Barnes and Noble store on campus. Professors offered required books exclusively at North Light and at one point, more than half of SSU’s textbooks were only offered at the Cotati store.
Zazzeron said the store will still offer textbooks for purchase or rent, but won’t be able to compete with Barnes and Noble’s eBook sales and rentals.
This will be the second longtime tenant leaving the East Cotati Avenue shopping center in as many months. Porter Street Barbecue closed last month after more than 10 years in the location. The brick barbecue pit now sits unused in an empty parking lot around the island building, which once housed a Sonic drive-in.