River Bookshop owner Richard Peddie calls the upstairs of his store the "hole in the wall" but the red plush seating and 1920's-inspired artwork say otherwise.
The whole design of the space, which Peddie said will be used for public events, was inspired by authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and telling moments of the 1920s like prohibition and the journey made by freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad.
In order to get into the space, guests must walk through a bookcase door and climb a set of stairs. At the top they'll find more than 40 pieces of artwork, chairs and a fireplace.
"We wanted that kind of mystery of the 20s ... why not a mystery door, just one other layer of intrigue and creativity with the store," Peddie said.
On Wednesday, the space will hold the shop's racial justice series, one of many series that the independent bookstore will be launching as a way to "educate, entertain, inspire and engage" customers, according to Peddie.
Based on physical distancing guidelines, the space can hold 50 visitors at a time and Peddie said the talks they hold will also be livestreamed online.
Activist Tiffany Gooch will speak at the event in the "hole in the wall."
Gooch is a principal at Aurora Strategy Group and is on the University of Windsor's board of governors. Her speech topic for Wednesday is called "The time for climbing is over, the wall must come down" and her talk will be available via Zoom.
Viewers as far away as Toronto have signed up for the livestream, Peddie said.
Gooch is one of the first speakers taking over the space, with the shop's sports series launching last week with Toronto Star sports writers Paul Hunter and Mary Ormsby.
In the coming weeks, the shop will also feature a climate crisis and nature series. Peddie said they also look forward to holding a series on Amherstburg's history.