Another Barbara's Bookstore closes

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By Ben Meyerson

Chicago Journal Editor

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.

Reader Comments

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Tim Koughlin  

Posted: January 19th, 2012 4:50 PM

Oh Please !!! I'm glad this left wing propaganda book store is slowly dying out. I guess the Mike Farrel section was'nt doing to well.

Silly Seconds  

Posted: January 19th, 2012 4:43 PM

NOPE, with you reading Bill O the clown's book I would think you would have been able to catch my humor and my complete fiction...oh, but you did not get that Bill O is a clown...sorry I will try and dumb down my satire a little for you, next time.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: January 19th, 2012 3:52 PM

The actual number of books sold can be inflated by bulk purchases made by the author and political groups. If you sign up to receive updates from these groups, you'll often receive offers to receive a free copy for making a donation.

NOPE 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: January 19th, 2012 2:59 PM

No, Silly. It's not Mr Shaker's fault this store closed. They simply didn't sell enough books that people wanted to buy. When I went in, there was always lots of people browsing, but not buying...basically using it as a library. Also, a dearth of works by conservative know, books that actually sell. That would've helped. I notice they're now selling Bill O'Reilly's book online. Had they done more of that in the OP store the $125K in unpaid rent wouldn't have been a problem.

Silly Seconds  

Posted: January 19th, 2012 9:08 AM

Isn't anyone going to blame Shaker for the closing of this barbara's bookstore? For a village full of "smart people" there is an astonishing lack of sense for the continuing to vote for vma candidates who change their campaign slogan, but not their politics.


Posted: January 17th, 2012 3:11 PM



Posted: January 17th, 2012 2:32 PM

Money makes the world go round.

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