Chicago's Semicolon Bookstore Returning to Original Location

Semicolon's past (and future) location

Semicolon Bookstore in Chicago, Ill., is returning to its original home at 515 N. Halsted St. in River West, Block Club Chicago reported, and store owner Danielle Mullen is purchasing the building.

Mullen and her team will be moving inventory this week and plan to reopen the store in River West this Friday. The bookstore debuted in River West in 2019; in 2021 Mullen moved to a larger space at 1714 W. Division St. in Wicker Park that included a cafe and dedicated children's area. Mullen plans to close that Wicker Park location early next year.

Mullen was still leasing the River West space when she moved the bookstore to Wicker Park and used the original spot for storage and pop-up shops. She told Block Club Chicago that the Wicker Park location had frequent plumbing problems, which led to lots of unplanned closures.

As a result of those difficulties, Mullen "jumped" at the opportunity to buy the Halsted St. building. She placed an offer last month and hopes to close the deal in January. She noted that because of the plumbing and flooding problems, her Wicker Park landlord is letting her get out of that lease early.

Looking ahead, Mullen plans to make the entrance to the Halsted St. building handicap accessible, turn the basement into a used book section and convert the apartments above the bookstore into literary-themed AirBnBs.

"That was our one thing that we hated about the space," Mullen said of the building's entrance. "The doors are not handicap accessible. But since we’re in the process of purchasing, we will now be able to change those doors so that it is handicap-accessible."

Remarking that the past year was a financially difficult one at the Wicker Park location, Mullen told Block Club that she is happy to be purchasing the original building. "Permanence is necessary. So many bookstores closed this year. We are doing everything we can to not take that route."

Powered by: Xtenit