Around Thanksgiving, a fastidious little artisanal chocolate shop called The Chocolate Library opened in the East Village. We know what you're thinking—won't little schoolchildren get confused and wander in there to borrow a copy of My Pet Goat, only to emerge all jacked up on sugar? The State Education Department’s division of library development was thinking the same thing, and bureaucrats quickly swung into action to choc-block the shop!
Diner's Journal reports that it's actually illegal to incorporate the words library, school, academy, institute and kindergarten without the education commissioner’s consent. The Chocolate Library's owner, Byron Bennett, who also owns the exceptional East Village wine shop Discovery Wines, is pretty flabbergasted, because the whole theme of his establishment is librarian; 36 brands of the product from 10 countries are neatly organized in white cubicle shelves, and Bennett is also installing a touch screen information kiosk, where customers can learn more about their chocolate’s cacao contents, ingredient sourcing and tasting notes.
"We thought library was the perfect word," Bennett tells Diner's Journal. "This is ridiculous. No one is coming in here confusing us as a library. It’s an arcane law that doesn’t really affect anybody." While his lawyers contest the education department's decision, he's incorporated under the name Chocolate 101. First lesson: Stay off the librarians' turf, they'll mess you up!