When one door closes, another opens — sometimes right down the street.
The two-story Barnes and Noble on Court Street bookstore closed its doors one last time on Jan. 10 after 20 years in business, but bookworms need not fear — the store is just relocating to a few blocks over to Atlantic Avenue, where a brand-new book haven will open on Jan. 18 in a storefront formerly occupied by the department store Barney’s.
“We have had a very happy 20 years at Court Street and are pleased to be able to continue our bookselling traditions in the Cobble Hill community,” said Barnes and Noble CEO James Daunt, in a statement. “It is an exceptionally happy turn of events that we are inheriting the beautiful space that Barneys created and we are excited to show residents our brand-new bookstore. Store Manager Yinam Chung and his experienced team of booksellers have been hard at work getting their new store ready and are very much looking forward to welcoming the community.”
The Court Street lease expired earlier this year, and, rather than renewing for a decade or two, Daunt and the team decided to shift the store into the “beautiful” empty storefront at 194 Atlantic Ave., right next to the Court Street Trader Joe’s. Barney’s vacated the 11,000-square-foot space in 2019, as department stores and large brick-and-mortar retailers all over the country struggled. Locals waited anxiously to see what, if anything, would eventually move into the cavernous storefront — which is a perfect fit for Barnes and Noble’s thousands of books.
Author Hernan Diaz will join staff for the ribbon-cutting ceremony next week and will kick off the new store’s first event: a signing of his new book “Trust” immediately afterward.
Almost everything in the new store will be familiar to devoted Barnes and Noble shoppers — the staff, the selection, the cozy atmosphere — but the company is using the relocation opportunity to revamp the store’s design, as it has with most new locations. Gone are the old carpets and dark wooden columns, in are warm wooden floors and new, sleek bookshelves and furniture.
“We are so glad to be moving a short distance and to such a beautiful new store,” said store manager Yinam Chung, a Barnes and Noble bookseller of 12 years, in a statement. “We have had many years of fond memories in Court Street, with author events, book signings and, of course, storytimes, and are looking forward to bringing that same energy and event line up to Atlantic Avenue. We cannot wait to build new memories with this wonderful community.”
Cobble Hill and the surrounding nabes are rich with bookstores, be they independent or corporate. In addition to the sprawling Barnes and Noble, Cobble Hill is home to the flagship Books Are Magic bookstore. Last fall, Books Are Magic opened a second location on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. Indie bookseller Greenlight Bookstore has two locations in Brooklyn, one in Fort Greene and one in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and the new Troubled Sleep offers used books and music in Park Slope.
The new Barnes and Noble will open its doors at 194 Atlantic Ave., right off of Court Street, at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18.