Can Beer Save Bookstores?

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Independent booksellers face plenty of competition from national chains and the Internet, but a new kind of hybrid store might offer a model that Amazon can never replicate: bookstore bars. Niamh Ni Mahoileoin writes over at ZY that successful bar-bookstores tap into their local communities, becoming partners in neighborhood life:

Events are also essential to the bookstore bar model, establishing them as vibrant community spaces rather than straight retail operations. Some offer live music and organized book clubs, while Elements’ “Meet the Brewers” is particularly popular with customers who come to sample beer made by local craft breweries and coffee from area roasters.


Ian MacAllen is the Rumpus Deputy Editor and founder of English Kills Review an online literary magazine focused on books, authors, and New York City. His writing has appeared in Little Fiction, Vol 1 Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, Chicago Review of Books, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He holds a Master’s Degree in English from Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →