Mike Copeland: Golden’s turning 45; Waco Restaurant Weekend; Black Bear Diner: Veterans One Stop roof

Golden’s Book Exchange turns 45 next month, and owner Donna Carroll said she never dreamed it would last that long.

To celebrate the occasion, Golden’s on the last Saturday in October will slash by 45% the price of nearly all books and comics on the premises. That is the Saturday before Halloween, seemingly apropos as Carroll named Stephen King, with plenty of horror titles in his catalogue, as the most popular author among customers.

Golden’s operated two years at Valley Mills Drive and Dutton Avenue, practically shadowed by Floyd Casey Stadium, before relocating to a retail strip at 3112 Franklin Ave. It has been there ever since.

“We’ve seen two or three generations pass through here,” Carroll said. “Children who came with their families are now bringing their children.”

Carroll said 40 to 50 people visit Golden’s on a good day, with some never entering the store. They choose to peruse free books available in the cart parked on the sidewalk outside. Carroll sells comic books, both new and back issues, as well as hardbacks, paperbacks and vinyl records. She occasionally buys books, shelling out 25% of the cover price before reselling at 50%. She said estate sales are fertile ground for buyers such as herself.

People are also reading…

Her success revolves around faithful customers and employees, said Carroll, who could not remember ever having a celebrity in the store.

“We’re still waiting on him,” Carroll said, asked about Stephen King.

Black Bear Diner back

Black Bear Diner will open a location in Cottonwood Creek Market, home to Cinemark, Topgolf and Main Event. The chain that serves breakfast all day, lunch and dinner will occupy about 4,500 square feet, according to a press release from NewQuest Properties, the Houston-based real estate developer that brought the market to Interstate 35 near New Road.

Black Bear Diner, heavily concentrated in California and Western mountain states, is entering markets across Texas. It originally planned to open in Central Texas Marketplace, before reconsidering and shifting locales.

Veterans One Stop’s new top

The Veterans One Stop, which provides services to military vets at 2010 La Salle Ave., has a new roof courtesy of the Cooper Foundation.

The Waco nonprofit donated nearly $50,000 in March to place a new lid atop the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network’s building on La Salle Avenue, which houses the Veterans One Stop and Behavioral Justice Programs.

“Continuous patch and repair work was not enough to keep up with the rapidly deteriorating roof at 2010 La Salle,” said Melinda Bonds, the network’s associate director of behavioral health services. “The Cooper Foundation stepped up with the funding to meet this basic need and allow these programs to continue. It’s community partners that make projects that benefit our citizens successful, and the Cooper Foundation is just such an example.”

Bonds said “prevention and intervention services at the Veterans One Stop, including crisis intervention and suicide prevention, have resulted in decreased suicides in the community.” She said the Veterans One Stop clinical staff knows of 32 suicide preventions in a five-year period.

Restaurant Weekend

Waco Restaurant Weekend will return Friday, Saturday and Sunday, “with a week’s worth of events and specials jam packed into one weekend,” Keep Waco Beautiful Executive Director Carole Fergusson said.

Every participating restaurant’s registration fee is donated to Keep Waco Beautiful, a nonprofit organization. This year’s event is hosting more than 40 restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, bars and more, according to a press release.

More information is available at wacorestaurantweekend.com.

Building permit roundup

Building permits issued in the past week include one valued at $1.1 million to JD Sports, which will make “alterations to space” as it opens a store in Richland Mall. The Behringer Group, meanwhile, secured a permit valued at $25,000 to prepare space for cotton candy sales at 8100 Woodway Drive, where the Union Grove food hall is in the works.

The same group that owns Union Hall at Eighth Street and Franklin Avenue downtown is working to open Union Grove by next month.

Boss Conference

Women and minorities wanting to know more about running a business are invited to the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce’s Boss Conference scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 3 in Baylor University’s Hankamer-Cashion Academic Center, 1401 S. Fourth St.

Breakfast and lunch will be served at the free event, where Central National Bank and Merrill Lynch will have representatives discussing accessing business capital, scaling businesses, business accounting and generational business wealth.

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