Tubby & Coo’s: a Mid-City wonderland of books, board games, family bonds

Amid the hustle and bustle of North Carrollton Avenue in Mid-City sits a tranquil oasis for book lovers from throughout the city and beyond.

by Steven Melendez
October 8, 2019

Amid the hustle and bustle of North Carrollton Avenue in Mid-City sits a tranquil oasis for book lovers from throughout the city and beyond. Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Bookshop, a store specializing principally in science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels and children’s books, celebrated its fifth anniversary on Sept. 1.

“I got started really just because I always wanted to have a bookstore, so I just did it,” explained owner Candice Huber, a former health care IT project manager, recalling that no other store in the area delivered the mix of genres that she enjoys. “I decided to go in the niche direction of creating a store for nerd-folk like me.”

Since then, the curated collection has attracted visitors from all around the area, with some coming from as far as Mississippi and Baton Rouge, as well as tourists exploring New Orleans by streetcar. Huber, a sixth-generation New Orleanian, can quickly gush forth recommendations from her favorite genres, from N.K. Jemisin — the African American author who became the first writer to win science fiction’s Hugo award for best novel three years in a row — to “American Gods” creator Neil Gaiman to Rebecca Roanhorse, known for her award-winning science fiction featuring Native American characters.

One shelf in the front of the store showcases works set in New Orleans and nearby areas, and a selection of used books caters to fans looking for older works or simply on a budget.

In addition to coming to find something to read, fans flock to the store for a number of events, from book club meetings to a weekly board game night. For those who enjoy an adult beverage with their gaming, the board game group alternates between meeting at Tubby & Coo’s and at 504 Craft Beer Reserve, the Tulane Avenue bottled beverage emporium and bar.

“We get pretty regularly a good group of people every week,” said Huber, often starting off playing larger group games and then splitting off to try a variety of games. “It kind of just depends on what people want to play.”

Shoppers interested in board games can also purchase them from Tubby & Coo’s, or even rent from a selection of more than 100 if they want to host a gaming night of their own or simply try before they buy. Games rent for just $1 per night with a two-night minimum, and Huber said she’s never had an issue with them coming back in poor condition.

The store takes its name from Huber’s late grandfather and grandmother, who went by Tubby and Coo, respectively, and both grew up just a few blocks away from where the store now stands.

“I always said if I opened a bookstore I would put it in my grandparents’ old neighborhood and name it after them,” Huber said.

Its official grand opening took place on Huber’s grandfather’s birthday, and during the store’s first years he took pride in visiting and introducing himself as the store’s namesake.

His birthday isn’t the only one celebrated at the store: One of Tubby & Coo’s most popular events is an annual celebration of Harry Potter, held on or around the J.K. Rowling character’s July 31 birthday. While the series attracts readers of all ages, Huber says the party is mostly for adults: In recent years, it’s been held in a password-protected speakeasy in the French Quarter, where admirers of the teenage wizard enjoy Potter-themed drinks and snacks.

Fans of the bookstore also drop by the Saturday before Mardi Gras, when the Endymion parade rolls down Carrollton Avenue. “We basically just sell tickets to use our bathroom and eat our food,” laughed Huber.

For audio-inclined customers, Huber and her mother, Gail Johnson, co-host the store’s first podcast, a sort of audio book club where they make their way through George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the literary basis for HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” The podcast, titled “Winterfell and I Can’t Get Up,” is accessible through Tubby & Coo’s website as well as podcast apps and marks Johnson’s first foray into the iconic fantasy series.

Tubby & Coo’s has also spun out its own publishing arm, now known as Tales Publishing, debuting last year with two children’s books and a young adult fantasy novel. More books are in the pipeline for next year, said Huber, who said she’s glad she followed her dream of opening a bookstore.

“It’s something that I always wanted to do,” she said.

Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop
Getting there
432 N Anthony St Suite 305C, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
Hours
Mon-Tue Closed
Wed-Fri 10am–4pm
Sat-Sun 10am–6pm
More Info

What to know about more to do in Mid-City? Click here for our guide to Carrollton Avenue.

More Local Stories

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Tarpon Springs

In this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando you’ll be transported to a thriving Greek community nestled on Florida’s gulf coast. From sponge diving to flaming cheese to a Greek bakery that supplies a ginormous amount of baklava to the entire country, you’re sure to fall in love with Greek culture in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

new orleans parks

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

black owned brunch spots new orleans 14 parishes

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

From the Ivory Coast to Gentilly Woods – Eburnieya brings West African flavors to New Orleans

Owner Ashley NDakpri’s endeavor is the only restaurant in New Orleans that serves Ivorian cuisine.

Queen Trini Lisa’s Ascension to New Orleans’ Caribbean Soul Food Throne

Lisa Nelson didn’t plan on being a chef. She didn’t anticipate becoming a queen either, but true to the most beloved of royalty, the people made her one.