Good-bye Barbara's Bookstore, Hello Potbelly's

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By John Hubbuch

I was never into the pity party for Barbara's Bookstore. Barbara's is no longer at the corner of Lake and Marion because its owner didn't pay the rent. All of his blathering about a contract dispute with the landlord was nonsense. In America if you don't pay the rent, you have to vacate the premises. Capitalism 101

Now Barbara's did have a good selection of lesbian and bodybuilding books, but I'm neither a lesbian (I'm a guy) or a bodybuilder (I don't like the oil or the Speedo.) Barbara's did have some history books, but you could buy them down or across the street for considerably less.

Everybody tells me Potbelly's is great, so I'll try it when it opens this week. Kudos to the landlord Shaker Management for getting a tenant that actually sells something people want to buy. And so fast.

Too bad we can't get replacements for the Certified on Lake, Honey and Thyme, the Colt Building retailers, et al. It's one thing to lose merchants. It's another to not replace them.                               

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Posted: December 15th, 2010 11:47 AM

Shop The Book Table or Magic Tree is you want a local book store. Barbara's was and is a sizable chain store, in fact one who refused to pay it's bills.

Unapologetic Liberal  

Posted: December 14th, 2010 4:50 PM

Barbara's was a local company and I root for those kind of companies, but in the end Borders won the 'Lake Street Book Store Sales War'. For the people upset about a 'local institution' going away, they probably should have given more business to Barbara's or encouraged others to buy there. The upside for those same people is that the almost certain additional tax revenue generated from Potbelly's will mean more money for better services or smaller budget shortfalls for Oak Park.

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