Good news for bibliophiles
New independent bookstore fills a long-empty void in Dripping Springs
Update: A previous version of this story stated that Sunday Bookshop is the first bookstore in Dripping Springs. A CultureMap reader got in touch about a bookstore they remember decades ago in Dripping Springs. There is not much of a record of this particular business, but books have certainly been available on and off throughout the town's history. The article now states that it is the first book store currently operating in Dripping Springs.
A long-awaited, women-owned independent bookshop in a building with a surprising Austin background is opening its doors in the heart of Dripping Springs in June. It is the only bookstore that currently serves the Southwest Austin suburb.
Sunday Bookshop has been in the works since the beginning of 2023, with owner and Dripping Springs native Dixie Frechette behind the wheel to make a lifelong dream a reality. She decided to open a bookstore after closing her women’s clothing and home decor boutique Fresh Native in January, she told CultureMap.
“Why am I waiting for 'one day' to do that, when the opportunity is there right now?” she had asked herself. “It was a dream I’ve always wanted to do where the timing worked out to do it now, instead of waiting for whenever that ‘one day’ was.”
Besides the public library, the closest thing Dripping Springs has had to a bookstore in recent memory is the Hill Country Senior Citizens Thrift Shop on Highway 290. Otherwise, locals had to purchase books online, or drive into Bee Cave or South Austin to shop in person. Now, locals and visitors alike can find their next read from the comfort of their hometown while supporting a small business in a much-needed, untapped market.
The building that Sunday Bookshop occupies has a story of its own. The home is over a century old and had lived on Rainey Street in downtown Austin before ending up in the Gateway to the Hill Country.
"It was built in 1907 and then the previous owners brought it into Dripping and set it up for retail. That's when Fresh Native moved in there," she said. "It was never a bar or anything down there, it was just an old house that was on Rainey Street and then they moved it ... I think it’s pretty cool there’s a little bit of history with it.”
Considering the rapid development and gentrification of Rainey Street throughout the years, it's no surprise that the previous owners would want to preserve some of the home's history by relocating it outside of Austin. Now, Frechette is continuing its legacy.
Brightly colored titles can be seen throughout the historic building.Photo courtesy of Sunday Bookshop
Sunday Bookshop's opening day is Thursday, June 22, with a grand opening celebration on Saturday, June 24. The store will mostly be run by Frechette, offering a carefully hand-curated selection of “book club picks” across several genres. Titles on the shelves will range from romance to general fiction, to mystery, thriller, and more.
“‘Book club picks’ encapsulates it best,” she said. “That’s what I’m the most familiar with because that’s what I lean towards when I’m picking a book. So I wanted that sort of niche selection.”
Sunday Bookshop does more than just sell books; the shop also carries an array of home decor, gifts and gift wrap, games, crafts, and stationery. Frechette leaned on her previous experience running Fresh Native to help decide what to choose as the shop’s non-literary merchandise.
“I wanted everything in here to be giftable in some way, because I feel like that was missing in Dripping as well as a bookstore, so I thought I could do a little bit of both,” she said. “I wanted it to be a one-stop shop here. So if you’re looking for a gift for someone you can pick that up, pick up the wrapping paper, and you’re good to go.”
Sunday Bookshop is located at 28101 Ranch Road 12 in Dripping Springs. The shop's summer hours will be 10 am to 5 pm from Wednesday through Saturday, with plans to expand operating hours in the fall.