Shakespeare & Co. is ‘filling a pocket’ with new bookstore downtown

Shakespeare & Co. is opening a fifth store at Brookfield Place in 2020.
Shakespeare & Co. is opening a fifth store at Brookfield Place in 2020. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Shakespeare & Co. is opening a new bookstore and coffee shop in Battery Park next year, "filling a pocket" in an otherwise "underserved area," according to the shop’s CEO.

In January 2020, the new store will open inside Brookfield Place (230 Vesey St.) with more than 2,500 square feet of bookshelves and reading nooks and a cafe serving coffee, grab-and-go food and pastries.

While the store will be similar in size to Shakespeare & Co.’s other locations, the Brookfield Place shop will have access to the mall’s Winter Garden communal area to hold larger book events.

"It will seat hundreds of people for book talks, which we do once a month with well-known authors, but it is more difficult for us at our smaller stores," CEO Dane Neller said.

Neller said that the new location has a lot going for it, which is why the company decided to open there and cater to the Wall Street crowd, commuters and tourists.

"Downtown and Wall Street is a big and robust residential area and it’s underserved by bookstores. I think we’re filling a pocket in the market there," he said. "Brookfield Place also has really good commuter traffic… And because it is downtown, it gets a lot of tourism."

A Barnes & Noble and The Mysterious Bookshop (with crime and suspense titles) sit a few blocks north on Warren Street.

Brookfield Place will be the company’s fifth store, after the original Upper East Side shop, its Upper East Side branch, a store inside the historic Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia and a new Greenwich Village store planned to open later this year at Sixth Avenue and 11th Street.

Neller said independent bookstores serve an increasing need for community space.

"There is a general trend toward independent bookstores that is growing," he said. "They have doubled in the last five years or so, which speaks to the importance consumers see in having a community-centered place they can go to and more curated places with a lot of services. It’s different [than one-click shopping], but it’s important and here to stay."

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