January 10, 2018

San Francisco’s Aardvark Books will remain open


Owen, Aardvark’s mascot, continues to have a place to nap

A blogger rarely looks forward to issuing a retraction. To have mis-thought, mis-quoted, or mis-typed is a humbling experience I would not wish on my worst enemy.

In this case, however, it delights me to make a major overhaul to a story we posted in September. In a bleak autumnal funk, we reported on the impending closure of  San Francisco’s long-running bookstore, Aardvark Books, saying: 

As a result of Big Tech’s ongoing takeover of San Francisco, another bookstore, Aardvark Books, is likely closing. As John McMurtrie reports for the San Francisco Chronicle, the store, which has sold new and used books since 1978, will close at year’s end if its owner, John Hadreas, succeeds in selling the building it inhabits. If the past can be trusted—and I think here it can—a new set of condos should be appearing shortly.

But as McMurtrie has reported in a follow-up for the Chronicle, Aardvark will remain open indefinitely.

What god from what machine has saved our heroes? Something like a bubble in the market, it seems. The building that houses the store—227 Church Street in the Mission District, for sale by its owner for a whopping $2.8 million—has proven difficult to sell. In fact, McMurtrie reports that the price fell as low as $400,000 before it came off the market.

Congratulations, Aardvark! May you be aaround that aarea, aardently supporting literature, even after the condos aarise!




Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.