It has been just over a month since The Wild Detectives opened on Eighth Street and began generating buzz in and outside our neighborhood for its curious concept of marrying books, booze and caffeine.
If you haven’t visited yet, this weekend is a prime time to do so. The Wild Detectives (314. W. Eighth) hosts its grand opening party 3-8 p.m. Saturday, April 12, featuring live music and an updated back patio where most of the action will happen. The bands include Emil Rapstine (of THE ANGELUS) at 4:30, The Southern Renaissance at 5:30 and Lord Buffalo at 6:30. In keeping with the roots of the owners, Paco Vique and Javier Garcia, the party also will serve complimentary paella, a popular Spanish rice dish.
A curated selection of books lines the walls of the shop — mostly cultural and cerebral stuff that you won’t find on display at Barnes and Noble. You’ll see titles from old favorites such as Irvine Welsh, Joan Didion and Susan Sontag as well newer works by Eleanor Catton, Lydia Davis and others. You’ll also find books of poetry from icons like Ann Sexton, Charles Bukowski and Ezra Pound.
Named after the novel “The Savage Detectives,” by Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño, The Wild Detectives also exposes patrons to some South American literary greats, featuring at the front of the shop several titles from Julio Cortázar, the influential Argentine novelist and short story writer.
The menu includes coffee (espresso, cortadas, cappuccinos, etc.) and tea as well as local craft beer and wine by the glass. It’s not a bad lunchtime spot either, offering pastries, sandwiches and cheese boards.
The communal space certainly fits into our neighborhood of book lovers. It’s easy to kill an entire afternoon browsing the two-story Lucky Dog Books, which has endured for two years now on Davis, hosting readings, live music, yoga classes and other events. And, of course, there’s Uncle Robert of Imported Books, who still displays an “abierto/open” sign on his little place off Clarendon, and continues to send us his typewritten press releases.