Phone #: 732-906-0009
Snail: 431 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ 08840
noon - 8 pm, Tues – Thurs; noon - 10 pm, Fri; 10 am - 10 pm, Saturday; (closed Monday); noon – 6 pm, Sun.
From Parkway, North or South: Take exit 131. Make right (Metuchen) onto rt. 27 South for approx. 3 miles. At the 5th traffic light, make a left onto Main Street. The store is located right by the corner of Main and New Street. For parking, either park on Main Street or make a right at New Street, then the next right onto Pearl Street and then right into municipal parking lot.
From NJ Turnpike, Southbound: Take exit 11 - stay to your right - and immediately after toll, get on GSP and follow above directions.
From NJ Turnpike, Northbound: Take exit 10 to rt. 287 Metuchen. Exit at rt. 1 South and stay in right lane for Metuchen exit, to Main Street. Go about 2 miles, turn left at 2nd traffic light onto New Street, make 1st right at Pearl Street, then right into municipal parking lot.
From rt. 287 South: Take new Durham Ave. Metuchen exit 3. Make left, stay in right lane past fork for about 1 mile. Make left at Lubowicki Insurance onto rt. 27. Go through 2 traffic lights, pass Center Street and make right onto Pearl Street. Then left into municipal parking lot.
Missed an event? Chances are we filmed it and posted it to our YouTube channel. To watch past performances, CLICK HERE.
VENUE RENTAL: We designed our store to be an eclectic mix of museum, bookshop, theatre, and saloon. Filmmakers, musicians, writers, and poets all regularly rent our space for premieres, readings, and concerts. Rental is for three hours and includes 25 folding chairs, podium, music stand(s) and/or screen -- all set up by our staff prior to your event. Our digital projector is not included in the initial rental fee, but can be arranged for a small, additional cost.
Performance Package: $75
With Projector: $100
Many book clubs ask to use our space. Because such use essentially shuts down a section of our store, we’ve been forced to charge a modest rental fee of $25. The fee is waived, however, for book clubs ordering their titles through us.
Books are half price (with some exceptions)
We accept cash, check, Visa and MC.
No cell phones.
We buy back books for store credit and review one bag or box per person, Mon – Thu.
A cue stick raised in anger or in a threatening manner will result in the expulsion of its wielder.
Books may not be stolen.
While The Raconteur does not require gentleman to wear ties and jackets, we nonetheless do require that shoes and shirts are worn by all patrons at all times. A turtleneck or banded shirt is permitted only with a blazer.
WEIRD STUFF ABOUT US YOU DIDN'T KNOW
We sponsor an annual arm wrestling tournament: The Santiago Armsport Tourney is inspired by Santiago, the arm-wrestling fisherman in Hemingway’s The Old Man in the Sea. As the sun sets, Santiago, who’s spent the day fighting a mammoth marlin, tries to give himself confidence by remembering a 24 hour arm wrestling tournament in Casablanca with “the great Negro from Cienfuegos, who was the strongest man on the docks.” The victor gets his/her name engraved onto a trophy (which stays in the store) and splits the pot with the shop.
We hold an annual George Bernard Shaw beard growing contest called The Unshavian (get it?)
We organize a literary pub crawl: The Raconteur Get Lit Tour meets at the shop and proceeds en-masse to Manhattan (via NJ transit). Stops on tour usually include The Algonquin Hotel (home of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of NYC writers/wits that included Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley & Harpo Marx), McSorley's Old Ale House (the oldest Irish tavern in Manhattan and the focus of several now classic articles by New Yorker author Joseph Mitchell; Brendan Behan and E.E. Cummings were known regulars), The KGB bar (named "best literary venue" in NYC by New York Magazine and The Village Voice), and The Whitehorse Tavern (where Dylan Thomas famously drank himself to death one night in November 1953). Previous tours included the now defunct Chumley's (a celebrated former speakeasy; notable scribes who imbibed there include Anais Nin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Norman Mailer, Eugene O'Neill, and J.D. Salinger). The Raconteur Get Lit Tour will be featured in a travel book called Novel Destinations: Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West, published by Random House and due out May 2008.
We have a piano: a scarred, but in-tune, mahogany upright, complete with drink rings and cigarette burns, salvaged from a shuttered saloon.
We have a motorcycle club: The Raconteur Motorcycle Club, which now allows "cagers" (people in cars) to tag along with supplies, meets at the shop and caravans to a destination of literary or cinematic significance. The Club was profiled in The New York Times and will be featured in a travel book called Novel Destinations, published by Random House and due out May 2008.
We have a Sherlock Holmes Society: The Andaman Aborigines convenes quarterly in the rear of our shop. "The aborigines of the Andaman Islands may perhaps claim the distinction of being the smallest race upon this earth…they are naturally hideous, having large, misshapen heads, small fierce eyes, and distorted features…they have always been a terror to shipwrecked crews, braining the survivors with their stone-headed clubs or shooting them with their poisoned arrows. These massacres are invariably concluded by a cannibal feast." The Sign of the Four, Arthur Conan Doyle.
We have weekday Happy Hour: Happy Hour is two for one book purchase, 4 – 6 PM, Mon – Friday. To receive the Happy Hour discount, you must say: “I need to Get Lit!” at the cashier counter before your purchase is rung up.
We produce a bi-annual hootenanny: The Raconteur Festival, held at a local 200 seat theatre three blocks from the shop, features a mix of live music, circus performers, and acclaimed writers.
We have a house band, The Roadside Graves: “Their sweet-tempered country-rock is far more slippery than it might first appear, buffered as it is by rich Jayhawks vocal harmonies, Benson's quicksilver guitar leads, and frequent detours that can occasionally conjure images of a roadhouse Bad Seeds. I've drank enough to know that I've drank enough," announces front man Gleason on the world-weary “Live Slow,” the one song that comes closest to encapsulating the enduring spirit of The Graves. Performed with an uncommonly deft touch and subtle grace, their songs concern themselves primarily with the pause for breath that comes after reaching original destinations, and the long, careful glance at the atlas that should come before determining what exactly is supposed to happen next.” (excerpt from Matt Murphy’s recent review on Pitchfork).