The Inkwell closes forever this Feb. 10

Longtime Main Street business drew customers to Warwick for 42 years


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  • Photo by Roger Gavan The Inkwell, 46 Main St., closed its doors on Friday, Feb. 10. Mohamed Ajamal, who owned and managed the business since 2008, frequently stood outside to greet his customers.



— The Inkwell, 46 Main St., one of the oldest and most well-known establishments in Warwick will close its doors forever this Friday, Feb. 10.

Owner Mohamed Ajamal, who lives in Warwick with his wife, Seima, and their three children, also has an ownership interest in Stevdan Pen and Stationers, a stationary store in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan. He plans to commute to work until his children finish the school year.

Since 2008, when he purchased the store from Carol Bartnowski, Ajamal expanded the selection of art supplies and stationary items while continuing to offer the gifts and other items that local customers have always enjoyed.

And having already obtained franchise privileges for the three stores his brothers managed in New York City, he was able to also feature more upscale pens and other items that those stores offer.

"We loved being part of Warwick. It's a wonderful place to live and raise a family," said Seima Ajamal. "And we are thankful to all our loyal customers for their support."

The Inkwell, which also carried gifts, holiday items and artist supplies among other merchandise, has been in the Village of Warwick for 42 years.

The original owner was Ruth Lutz who first opened the store at 18 Main St., a couple of blocks south of its present location.

Six years later she moved it to 46 Main St.

And two years later, in June 1982, Carol Bartnowski purchased the business, which she continued to manage for 26 years.

During those years, she and her husband, David, a contractor, doubled the size of their building and quadrupled the space occupied by the store.

Bartnowski, who passed away in 2014, had always been active in downtown Warwick promotions and charity fund raisers. She also served as a past president of the Merchant Guild for 10 years and always urged local residents to support small businesses like The Inkwell to help preserve Warwick's unique downtown character.

- Roger Gavan

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