by Aria Socratous

TAMPA, FL – St. Nicholas Cathedral Bookstore in Tarpon Springs, FL had a Grand Re-Opening on August 5 with a brand-new look, reorganized and “refreshed” after two months. The official name of the bookstore is “St. Nicholas Cathedral Bookstore in memory of Renee Salivaras” who was very committed to the church. Renee was the wife of Andreas Salivaras, the owner of Mykonos Restaurant in Tarpon Springs. Their little granddaughter Irini (Renee’s namesake) cut the ribbon.

Rev. Fr. Athanasios C. Haros, Protopresbyter, Dean of the Cathedral claimed that the bookstore is probably one of the only Orthodox bookstores open to the public. As he said a lot of churches have their bookstores and a coffee hour but St. Nicholas Bookstore has its own location, it is open to the public almost every day, run by volunteers, and is a unique and great blessing for the Greek community in Tarpon Springs.

“We have 400 different titles on the shelves, bibles, books about the scriptures, books about the Church Fathers, spirituality books, children’s books, books for those that are learning about the faith, inquiring about the faith, we have several Greek books, candles, incense, and prayer bracelets. People can come and get the things they need. It’s a place people can come and get all of their supplies for their Christian life. We carry an extensive variety of children’s books, bibles, lives of saints, prayers, icons, Orthodoxy, and so much more!! They make terrific gifts for the children, grandchildren, Godchildren – birthdays and namedays,” Fr. Athanasios said.

“We are a large community, we estimate somewhere around ten thousand people. There are eight Greek Orthodox churches in the Tampa area, but we are the Mother Church of all. We are the original Greek Orthodox church,” he said.

The shelves of the newly refreshed St. Nicholas Cathedral Bookstore in Tarpon Springs. Photo: Courtesy of the St. Nicholas Cathedral Bookstore

St. Nicholas Cathedral has a Greek school two afternoons a week and the teachers are Greek native speakers.

The bookstore was closed for six weeks, during which it was emptied out, reorganized, and refreshed with new books, icons, and religious items. So far, book presentations have not been scheduled but as Fr. Athanasios said, it’s something he has in mind and in the future is going to take place.

“We have a very large Epiphany celebration in Tarpon Springs. It’s a really beautiful place to be. It’s like you are visiting Greece in America. The community has a great diversity and it’s a very well established community, we are very proud of being a part of it,” he said.

Fr. Athanasios Haros and the altar boys from St. Nicholas Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, FL. Photo: Courtesy of the St. Nicholas Cathedral Bookstore
The St. Nicholas Cathedral Bookstore in Memory of Renee Salivaras had its Grand Re-Opening on August 5. Photo: Courtesy of the St. Nicholas Cathedral Bookstore
Some of the books available at the St. Nicholas Cathedral Bookstore. Photo: Courtesy of the St. Nicholas Cathedral Bookstore