Penguin Bookshop is closed for the month of January 2014 and will reopen at their new location at 417 Beaver Street in February!
Penguin Bookshop is an independent local bookstore operating in the heart of Sewickley for almost 80 years. We offer an extensive selection of books for all ages, as well as book-related gifts, cards, newspapers, and magazines both in our store and through this website. Always include the Penguin on your must-visit-in-Sewickley list as you shop, dine and explore our unique village. Our Second floor, the Munchkins’ Loft, offers favorite children’s books from the classics to the most popular new releases. Our wide selection of children’s books includes graphic novels and comics, picture books, early reading books, popular series, young adult, special needs, and parenting.
For over 80 years the Penguin Bookshop has been a fixture in the heart of Sewickley Village. Various locations in town and 5 owners have kept alive one of the communities’ greatest treasures. In 1929 two socialites opened a bookshop on Chestnut Street and named it after their favorite book, “Penguin Island”. The store moved to a former cigar shop on Beaver Street. In 1939 the shop was sold for 1 dollar to a couple who ran it for the next 40 years. In 1981 the shop was sold to another couple that bought the current property on Beaver Street, a building that was constructed in 1915. In 1987 the beloved store again changed hands, a staff member and beloved cat would become the new faces of Penguin. In 2007 the store was for sale again. Current owners Janet and Bud McDanel spent over 1 million dollars to not only restore this jewel in the crown of Sewickley but also to do it responsibly. The first “green” building in Sewickley, the Penguin Bookshop is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. It is the first independent bookstore in the country to earn the certification. The McDanel’s mission was to create a sustainable local treasure.
Not only is the three-story new building beautiful and well lit, there is something for everyone. Customers can enjoy a cup of coffee while perusing magazines in a comfy sofa by the fireplace or go to the little known basement which is stocked full of school supplies. The upstairs is a haven for young readers with much to explore and do. There is a weekly Lunch Bunch story hour for kids ages 3-5 where they bring a sack lunch, hear a story and make a craft to take home. Also upstairs is a meeting facility that is available for rent. It includes a small kitchen to suit any needs. Local Authors come for signings and booklovers go to meet. The website is very informative including staff picks, a calendar of events, a blog and an online store.