The Cretia’s/Dicho’s combo that neighborhood blogger Rob Shearer announced on Back Talk Oak Cliff in mid-September is up and running in Bishop Arts District’s former Nodding Dog spot.

I stopped by yesterday to check it out, and had a piece of strawberry cake with butter cream frosting (yum) and a cup of coffee. The two bakery cases hold several different cookie, pie and cake flavors, the latter sold by the slice for $5. Carlos, the operating director, told me that on Fridays and Saturdays, people congregate in the shop and hang out almost as they would in a bar.

Dicho’s makes book shopping easy, with everything divided into sections like cooking, humor, gift books and bestsellers. The children’s section was one of the largest, yet not so large to be overwhelming. That was the great thing about the entire store — the sections featured some of the more interesting books available in each category, and there weren’t so many that it was overwhelming. I guess I’ve shopped at Barnes and Noble so long that I have forgotten that this is exactly why small, neighborhood bookstores are charming and appealing.

Dicho’s also had plenty of copies of President-elect Barack Obama’s books, "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams from My Father", at a display right in front of the register. I asked if they were selling well these days, and was given an emphatic "yes," but also told that they’ve been selling well for quite some time.