Flagship Books – Kansas City, Kansas

While Flagship Books in Kansas City, Kansas, might’ve been the smallest shop I visited on my KC Metro Area bookstore crawl, it also just might have the coolest backstory. Brothers Joel and Ty Melgren founded Flagship Books in March 2021, beginning in a shipping container in the Iron District in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic before moving to its new location in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood in February.

The corner storefront that is now home to Flagship Books has been home to, according to my Google Maps search, a hair salon and a business called Wells Locally Sourced Meats. So why not next a bookshop?

Calling Flagship the smallest of the shops I visited is by no means a knock. Limited space means booksellers must be even more selective in what they choose to carry, picking only the best of the best to meet customer needs. An impressive selection of new and used titles lines the walls at Flagship, as well as some bookish gifts like puzzles. It wasn’t difficult to find something from my always-at-the-ready list of sought-after titles.

The risky move of opening during the pandemic has proven successful for Flagship (and several others just like them – my home state of West Virginia saw six new shops arise during COVID-19). Well, maybe not just like them. I haven’t yet come across a shop in a storage container. The new permanent storefront location has proven a hit with customers, and the space will allow for events like author appearances.

Wishing the best to the Melgren brothers and Flagship Books – although, gotta say, I do wish I would’ve gotten to town in time to see the original location! 

Flagship Books is located at 600 Ohio Ave, Kansas City, Kansas. Open Wednesday through Sunday.

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