Powell's Books to replace University Village Barbara's Bookstore
New shop slated to open March 1
02/01/2012 1:59 PM
Less than a month after University Village’s Barbara’s Bookstore closed its doors, citing weak sales and poor foot traffic, a Chicago-based bookstore chain is moving into the space at 1218 S. Halsted St.
Powell’s Books is getting set to open in the space as soon as March 1, according to store owner Brad Jonas. It would be their third storefront, adding to locations in Hyde Park and Lake View.
“We’re very excited about the university’s commitment to having a bookstore there. They have been very supportive in making sure that area has a store there,” Jonas said. “We think it’s a great opportunity. That community has been underserved for books.”
It’s not his first time opening a shop near the city’s midsection. Powell’s had an outpost not too far away at 828 S. Wabash Ave. in the South Loop in the recent past, but shuttered that location in favor of a larger warehouse on the West Side for online sales. However, Jonas is hoping the University Village location can draw back some of his old South Loop customers.
When Barbara’s announced they were closing the location in January, the chain’s owner, Don Barliant, said that location didn’t have enough foot traffic to be successful. But Jonas said he thinks his shop can get past that.
“I don’t want to speak ill of anybody, but the regular bookstores have had a tough time lately,” he said. “I’m not sure that Barbara’s had a very strong inventory there. We hope to have a pretty sizable inventory there — it’ll be pretty strong.”