BookBar, an independent bookstore and wine bar in northwest Denver, has bought The Bookies, a bookstore that has been a go-to for the last 50 years for children, young adults and teachers.
BookBar owner Nicole Sullivan said in a statement Monday that she doesn’t anticipate many changes to The Bookies in the first several months.
“This will not be a second BookBar and, sorry, but we will not be adding a bar. The Bookies will remain The Bookies,” Sullivan said.
The store, started by Sue Lubeck of Denver out of the basement of her house, was put on the market by her family after Lubeck died in July. Lubeck died from leukemia. She was 87.
Her family said they hoped to sell the store to a local, independent business that would carry on Lubeck’s vision. The store is at 4315 E. Mississippi Ave. in Glendale.
Sullivan said while she wasn’t looking to buy another bookstore or even to open a second BookBar location, she “couldn’t bear the possibility of Denver losing such an iconic bookstore.”
“Our intention is to continue, the best we can, to carry on with Sue’s vision and honor her legacy,” Sullivan said.
Lubeck ran The Bookies out of her home for the first 10 years. The business moved to a storefront on East Sixth Avenue and Ogden Street and then to its current location.
Sullivan said the Lubeck family sent a letter to The Bookies staff to thank them for their years of dedication and support and say they believe Sullivan “has the capability, energy, and excitement to bring the business into the future.”
As part of the purchase process, The BookBar, which opened in 2013 in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood, and The Bookies will reincorporate as a Public Benefit Corporation. That is a first step to becoming a Certified B Corporation, which balances profits with concerns such as impacts on customers, employees and the environment.
Sullivan didn’t disclose the purchase price for the store. She said she plans to integrate The Bookies with BookGive, a nonprofit organization that receives 10% of all book sales and 100% of VIP membership dues.
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