September 26, 2017
Sounds like Brooklyn is finally getting that McNally Jackson
by Chad Felix
It’s been over three years since we last reported on legendary New York bookstore McNally Jackson’s plan to open a store in Brooklyn. That outpost—planned for the borough’s expensive, touristy Williamsburg neighborhood—was supposed to open in the fall of 2014, according to a piece (about bookstores and how unaffordable Manhattan had become) by Julie Bosman that ran in the New York Times.
But three years later, somehow, there’s still no McNally Jackson this side of the East River. And new information about the iconic bookshop’s second (or third, or fourth, depending on how you count) location was hard to come by. That is, until this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival.
As Publishers Weekly’s John Maher reports, at BKBF, “Store employees… handed out cards with the new address and the words ‘opening soon’ on them. A large sign was also featured at the store’s booth at the festival, with a drawing of the upcoming store.”
In the days following the book festival,confirmed the news in the Brooklyn real estate news organ Brownstoner. As originally planned, the store will be located in the Lewis Steel Building, a former factory, at 76 North 4th Street.
Good? Well, yes. Of course. Bookstores are very good, especially independent ones. The new McNally will join more than a few beloved staples in the area already. Book Thug Nation, the (mostly) used bookshop started by four sidewalk booksellers in 2009, is a single block away from the site of the new McNally. And Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers (est’d 1999) is a three-minute walk down North 4th. Slightly further away (about twenty minutes’ walk), in Greenpoint, is the original WORD (and, opening soon, its children’s book outpost, also in Greenpoint). And don’t forget Quimby’s NYC and Desert Island.
The new McNally is due to open this year. And while no firm date has been set, the store promises “certainly by November.” See you there!
Chad Felix is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House, and a former bookseller.