Re-3 Re-Cap: Old Books on Front

Posted Jul 8th, 2020 in

Tag: Blog

Wilmington Downtown Incorporated, (WDI) in partnership with the Longleaf Foundation, implemented a grant

program to help sustain local businesses affected by Covid-19 in Wilmington’s Central Business District,

Brooklyn Arts District, Castle Street to 17th Street, The Cargo District and the South Front District.


The grant program, known as Re-3 was designed to assist owners as they re-opened, re-stocked, and began to

re-cover from challenges and due to generosity of local individuals and businesses it quickly grew

into a fund that was able to issue grants to 37 companies.


OLD BOOKS ON FRONT with roots tracing back to the early 1980’s has become a very special community asset thanks in part to managing partner Gwenyfar Rohler who has expanded the use of space to include: book club gatherings, piano lessons, a meeting point for literary walking tours and more.



What First? The R3 Grant was totally unexpected but truly an essential lifeline for Gwenyfar, who says, “she cried at the news.” The grant enabled her to hire back one key employee, Rachel; to re-new the ABC permit for their special events; and to re-stock inventory, although since many books are printed in China, warehouses are empty and it can be a struggle to fulfill orders for loyal locals. 


What’s Next? The hope is to bring back more staff soon. Challenges include trying to figure out the best hours to be open. The cleaning protocol is intense. Gwenyfar says, “we love the vacationers: there are people we see every year and we look forward to them but we can't do all the things we used to do. For example, we put the Literary History Walking Tour on hiatus until at October because it is just too hot to safely give a two hour tour wearing a mask!”


Thanks. The following generously donated to make Re-3 possible: 

* Anonymous * Balding Brothers * Liz Bruning * Coastal Assoc. of Health Underwriters * Weezie Davenport * Joseph Finley * Jennifer Ford *Susan Francy * Griffin Estep * Cheryl Hannah * Clark Hipp * Kerry Knight * Tony Kovalski * Carl Kruger * Longleaf Foundation * John Lynn * Lewis Martin * Monteith Construction* Robert Moyer * Lara Murphrey * nCino * Jay Paulinski *Robison Insurance Services * Bill & Debbie Rudisill * Beth Rutledge & Tim Morgan * Steven Schmitter *The O’Grady-Guida Charitable Gift Fund * Ken Tomaselli * Tracy & Paul Wilkes *

For info on how you can donate, contact WDI at: