Barbara’s Bookstore closed its University Village outpost on Jan. 8 after nearly eight years in business at 1218 S. Halsted St. in Chicago.
The bookstore’s owner, Don Barliant, said the store simply wasn’t performing well enough, and with their lease up at the end of the month, it was time to go.
He enjoyed the neighborhood, but the area needs more stores to be successful, he said.
“I wish them well,” Barliant said, “but the neighborhood needs to expand its retail presence so the existing stores can do better.”
Barliant said Barbara’s will expand its presence selling books across several Macy’s stores, as well as in its Northwestern Memorial Hospital outlet. Some of the University Village employees will be shifted to those locations, Barliant said.
Barbara’s closed its Oak Park location in 2010, a store it had run in the village since the 1970s, making way for a cupcake shop and Potbelly sandwich shop. A court ordered Barbara’s to pay its landlord $126,543 in unpaid rent and attorney fees in December 2011. The property owner, Anthony Shaker, said the amount still had not been paid as of Monday, and he has filed a personal lawsuit against Barliant to collect it.
Staff Reporter Marty Stempniak contributed to this report.