Signage is up at 450 Columbus Ave, between 81st and 82nd Streets, and the owner of The Strand has confirmed that the store will open this month! “It’s refreshing to see a business opening on the block, especially from a bookstore we all look forward to having in our community,” says Jeff, a Columbus Avenue resident.
The space at 450 Columbus Ave was once the home of Book Culture, which closed after months of back and forth while the owner tried to raise funds to stay open. Eventually the landlord gave them notice they had to leave as they had racked up $140,000 in back rent, according to Book Culture owner Chris Doeblin.
Nancy Bass Wyden, the owner of Strand, told Gothamist that they were excited to be opening this month and that, “Thinking about opening those doors feels like the light at the end of a long tunnel. This isn’t quite the grand opening we had imagined, but we’re looking forward to bringing some joy (and some great books) to the Upper West Side.” Wyden was originally expecting to open the UWS store in April.
Like many companies, The Strand had to shut down due to Coronavirus and lay off many employees. Wyden posted on her Instagram account that she was so happy when they opened their downtown location and thanked everyone who had supported them during the time they were closed.
While we all look forward to The Strand Bookstore’s UWS location, the safety messaging from the store is very clear. Everyone entering will need to socially distance and wear a mask. They will also only allow up to 50% capacity, so there may be a wait to get in. Other programing, like in-person events, will also slowly open at a future date.
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