Libreria Girón, a Spanish-language bookstore in Chicago, Ill., has closed its flagship store in the city's Pilsen neighborhood due to increasing property taxes, the Chicago Tribune reported. While the 18th Street storefront has closed, Libreria Girón has turned part of its distribution center, a warehouse on West 21st Street in Pilsen, into a bookstore complete with free wi-fi for customers, and the last remaining Libreria Girón bookstore branch is still open for business on 26th Street.
The store opened in 1957, initially selling televisions, radios and other electronics, until founder Ada Alicia Girón began stocking books, music albums and Spanish greeting cards. Eventually Spanish-language books became the store's forte, and at one time there were 10 Libreria Girón branches throughout Chicago's North and South Sides. In addition to the bookstores, Libreria Girón has had a wholesale business for years, selling Spanish-language books to retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Target and, prior to 2011, Borders Books & Music.
Juan Manuel Girón, son of the store's founders, told the Tribune that he plans to "pump up" Libreria Girón's distribution business, and added, "It was a true privilege to be a part of 18th Street for so many years. We are moving, but we are not leaving."
Juan Manuel's sister Patricia Girón operates the Libreria Girón branch on 26th Street.