So we’re still looking for a location in San Antonio to open our bookstore/bar. First strike was Holy Haunted Hot Dog Magic Church Bookstore.
Last week I checked out The Spire:
It was gorgeous and accessible but there were issues with parking and it was a bit out of my budget to be comfortable so, strike two.
Looking at more places this week. Wish me luck.
88 thoughts on “The search for a bookstore, strike 2”
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Drat, a church would have been great! At least you’re finding neat places as you search. May the Best Manifest!!
The right place is out there somewhere. I like the idea of a repurposed church. Lots of people worship at the altar of reading material.
You are awesome.
You are great.
Good luck Jenny! When you find the right one, it will all perfectly fall into place.
Good luck! The universe needs this. It will happen! Are you planning on crowdfunding? Will there be a raccoon petting zoo at the opening? Hugs!
Hmmm. Two in a row. I detect a theme.
You just want to hear us all shout, “Holy shit!” when we get there.
If that location worked out, the name of your store could have been The Good Word.
ooooooo! That is gorgeous, though! You have such cool places in your area. I’ll bet something perfect comes along. It has to. I’m getting my plane ticket already!
If I had my druthers, it would be in The Smithsonian, but then I mostly just like to find reasons to use the word “druthers”. Everybody knows your bookstore should be at the Museum of Natural History. No change to the museum displays, just all the taxidermied animals and mannequins are holding books. 😉
Clearly this is not the right space – I’m guessing there would not be nearly enough actual haunting in there because let’s face it, haunting a church would be super intimidating. Like an MMA match with Jesus and who wants to face that?
GOOD LUCK with your continued search – I’m sure it’s going to take awhile to find the exact spot so don’t get discouraged at ALL! <3 <3 WE ARE WITH YOU FOR THE LONG HAUL.
Keeping the good juju vibes aimed in your direction. We all need your kind of bookstore!!
Wowza! The right place will come along!
The right place is out there, waiting to be discovered. I can’t wait to see it. Though you probably are less patient about that than me, because it’s your quest, not mine lol But I will totally roadtrip over from New Orleans for the grand opening!!
You will find it. And when you do, it will have been worth the wait. I have faith in you, Jenny Lawson. And trust me, that is a high compliment, because I don’t have faith in much. But you – you’re the goods. You have the inner strength of a hundred – no, a thousand – lesser humans. Are you sure you’re not an alien? Just asking…
Jenny, how about a crowdfunding effort to help you with the purchase of some wonderful place? I suspect you have thousands of people who would love to contribute to this terrific project! I know I would! Too bad about the parking problems with this one, as it is GORGEOUS.
(I love that people are supportive enough to donate but I want to be able to find a place that I can support on sales each month. But I definitely may use crowdfunding if I need to make a place I can afford more accessible. 🙂 ~ Jenny)
That is really cool, but I’m sure the right place is out there! I’ve always loved what you’ve written about our kids being who they are meant to be. I think the same philosophy works here. This book sore will be what it is meant to be (absolutely effing amazing) and you will know when the perfect fit shows up. I’m so excited for you!
We went to Tokyo last year and found that cat cafes and hedgehog cafes are very popular there. Also rabbit cafes. You should definitely have a haunted bookstore.
Maybe your new bookstore will make me finally go visit my friend who lives out there.
If you do decide on the church, I know where you can get a piano—I actually solved that mystery! But regardless of where you go, I’m sure it will be somewhere super cool—are there any old schoolhouses near you?
I do like the idea of a church, though. The checkout counter could be on the altar, and people could choose to receive their change in their hands or directly in their mouth.
Keep searching and letting us go vicariously with you!
Gosh. Y’all got some pretty amazing buildings in San Antonio.
Too bad— so gorgeous!!
Crowdfunding campaign might be something to consider. Your book store idea is just too fabulous an idea for it not to happen sometime. We’re all pulling for ya!
Wishing you much awesome, stupendous, gasp-inducing good luck.
Why am I just hearing of this? Why not Austin? So many whys!
(Austin is awesome but we’re in San Antonio and Austin already has a giant, wonderful independent bookstore. ~ Jenny)
Wait, how did I miss the @bar” part of the bookstore/ bar?
(Small bar. Beer, wine and cider probably. ~ Jenny)
I am reading kind of a cozy mystery (I usually prefer the dark Scandinavian type!) where one of the “detectives” owns a bookstore called Miracle Books. Nora considers herself a bibliotherapist and believes that books can bring healing and hope. She stocks every type of book–not just the touchy-feely ones you might imagine. She also has shelf-enhancers on the book shelves that relate to the types of books there and are also for sale. The local bakery provides pastries to the book store called book pockets. The book is the Whispered Word by Ellery Adams. For more about the author (whom I don’t know!), go to http://www.elleryadamsmysteries.com.
Love your books, your website, you, and your recommendations!
Let me know when I can apply for a job 🙂
Just let it find you Jenny. When it “speaks” to you, you’ll know!
So I know of a rumored to be haunted building that’s available in Boerne…. close to downtown….not that I’m biased because I live here. It’s still a nice building.
Oooo! That’s too bad. It would have been a magical building, but parking and budget are everything for a business like a book store. Better luck next time!
Jenny, I agree…when it’s right, you will know it. That’s how my bookstore manifested new space that was ideal. You have a lot more people sending out good juju than I did. It will happen!
(If you need any bookstore advice, let me know.)
Okay, I saw a house haunted by 9 ghosts that is a steal but whew, 9 is a bit over the spectral limit. So then I saw this little gem – perhaps too expensive? http://www.thurlowandcompany.com/v2/propertylistings/details.asp?idproperty=59#photo
Have you looked at the Koch hotel???
Your dream is my dream. Good luck.
Your dream is my dream. Good luck.
What I want to see in a bookstore: if you have art/novelty items make them locally sourced. Your comment about Book People reminded me why I don’t liked it. On the stars they have all kinds of fun items like yours and soaps but it’s all cheap crap from China. You KNOW there are local soap makers who would love to be sold in stores, especially around the Austin SA area. Also, local art!
Just rent out one of those empty spaces in one of the innumerable “business/warehouse” strips that run the length of I-35 between San Antonio and Austin…Nothing is more terrifying than urban blight, amiright?
This makes me think about Welcome to Nightvale and The Brownstone Spire. Good luck finding an awesome space!
I like your aesthetic.
It will happen, maybe you’ll just happen upon the place. I will definitely come to see the place when you get it going 🙂
I’m seeing a theme with the almost-good choices you’ve shown us…
I was lucky: an historic building (1800s), brick, with a location right on a small Main Street in a town in VT across from the local bodega & the best restaurant in the area (so lots of people come from the area for the restaurant, see my store, and stop in while waiting for a table). My only problem is the brick building: no windows, so I can’t have air conditioning. I only have 2-3 weeks in the middle of August that this becomes an issue and we have fans running and the front door open, because … VT. One of the things you’re going to need to think about is A/C there in TX. 🙁
Damn. That would’ve looked so good with a pair of giant metal chickens guarding the entrance.
Too bad that one didn’t work out. I saw the picture and imagined the book store being called “The Holy Crap Shrine of the Bloggess…errr… Bookstore” and the sign showing your hours would read “Hours of Worship.” All the taxidermy critters could be saints. Sorry, I like to beat a dead horse. I’ll go back to my corner and shut up now.
WOW, you are really serious!!
If you build it, we will come.
Love the ideas so far!
By the way I’m letting you know now that I’m working at your bookstore when it opens. Sorry there’s no saying no it’s just a fact 😂😂😂😂
Jenny – I hope you’re keeping a running log of these wonderful places. Notes on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. You never know when you may need a rental for a special event… or a 2nd location. 😀
Best of luck finding just the right spot… that perfect nook for a good book.
Aww man, just missed out on the Church of the Bloggess.
How about a haunted lighthouse? Granted, I recognize the absence of rocky shorline in your area, BUT… Get Victor and your pop to work! “If you build it, they will come”, and other quotes immortalized by Kevin Kostner! Only caveat is that the build will have to be DIRECTLY atop a sacred burial ground for desired effect. No can do? Get a the ghosties on Amazon! Boom done.
How much do you need?
I think the first candidate was also probably too expensive, but she made it sound like mezzanine accessibility was the main barrier, and I found a potential solution and put it in a comment AND an email (and I used to be an architect so there’s at least a chance I know what I’m talking about), and I wish I could be sure she saw it and rejected it on its merits (which is perfectly acceptable, of course) rather than never seeing it. Any advice from people here who know her better than I do? Should I sent a small taxidermied animal to her P.O. box with the suggestion wrapped around it? Or simply STFU and forget it? (That’s hard when she reminds us.)
(Thanks for your suggestion! To answer your questions there is an elevator but it only goes down to the kitchen area which we wouldn’t use. The elevator can’t go to the mezzanine bc of the pitch of the roof and they don’t want to make any other major changes. It would be different if I was buying the place but I’m only a renter. Your idea may work for other buildings that are less protected tho. Thanks! – jenny. )
Hmm I just had a brain wave. Perhaps if you can’t find the exact right building that fits within your budget/specifications you could possibly find a cheap available lot of land that really speaks to you and buy it for a song or even buy a disaster zone of a property at a super low price.
Then you could take that land or disaster zone building and demo/build whatever you want and personalise your bookstore. There’s plenty of land out there that’s haunted-building or no! 👻 land holds energy ya know and so does that antique chair you bought! Hope your garage is holding up ok whilst it’s still sitting in there…👻😱
Also if you build your own place you can put in things like a giant slide that goes from one floor to the next. Who doesn’t want that and why the fuck not?! 🙂also-installing charming things like antique tiles, floor to ceiling bookshelves, etc sorry!!! I love antiques myself and I’m a junkie for any renovation tv show imaginable.
Best of luck with this wondrous dream Jenny! 👍 keep going and follow your gut!
Why does WordPress hate me? I’ve just spent two hours trying to comment.
Good luck! I hope you find something perfectly haunting!
The Holy haunted Hot Dog Magic Church should sell t-shirts if they don’t already!
I believe I would take a trip to San Antonio just to come to your book store.
Thank you to everyone who has sent me a note. They have made a difference.
If you end up needing help tricking out the new place in a way that’s uniquely you, awesome, and affordable, give a shout to my Boss Lady and BFF Heather. I’m leaving the website so you can see her work. She specializes in doing construction + design and finding every penny of cost savings to be had — plus she can take on the anxiety-producing task of making sure the contractors do everything exactly right.
Two good places, just not good enough. Keep looking your space is out there and I will make it a point to get to SA for the first time in more than 20 years for the opening. My only question is why the hell did I think you lived in Fort Worth? lol a big thank you to all who sent me cards ♥️ and a really big thank you to you, Jenny, for thinking of the idea! It has been an actual uplifting experience. Love to you and the Tribe
This will happen, I know it. But maybe it’s mean of me to be kind of glad that you are looking at different properties. I am jealous of the hunt. There is so much potential each time you look through a new place. I am so glad you are sharing the different spots. I start imagining the shelves, the atmosphere, the staff, the set-up…even the smells. Coffee smells, book smells, cider.
I have even imagined a reading going on.
I will be happy, so very , very happy when you find one, but I am having fun that you haven’t yet too.
Do you take a lot of pics of the insides? Would you share those with us?
No matter where you and your bookstore land, you will always inSpire us, Jenny and Victor.
Seen church yet? https://commercial.century21.com/real-estate/san-antonio-tx/LCTXSANANTONIO/?sl=0&le=0#pdp=REN006208659
Address of church listed above, in case link doesn’t get you there. $310k price.
139 Denver Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78210
Correction: $320k for above. This one is $310k: https://commercial.century21.com/real-estate/san-antonio-tx/LCTXSANANTONIO/?sl=0&le=0#pdp=REN002625507
224 Hobart St, San Antonio, TX 78237
(Those are cool but I’m looking to lease, not buy. 🙂 ~ Jenny)
Jenny, I’m jealous of you. I’m getting rTMS too and there’s no way I would be able to do what you’re doing at this time. Also feeling sorry for myself because I don’t have a Victor to help me. Oh well, at least I’ve stopped crying all the time. Progress?
I’m curious as to how you will hire employees, because if I could work there, I would insist we move to San Antonio. My hubby can work anywhere there is high speed internet and I can’t imagine a better job doing ANYTHING else.
I love that you are working so hard to make it accessible. I broke my back in a car accident three years ago and accessibility is now the name of the game!
UUUUUGH stop making me want to live in TEXAS of all places just so I can come to your bookstore!
<3 seriously when you are open I will have to spend a weekend in town I swear
I know this will sound goofy but have you looked at old funeral homes? I actually worked at an old one that was converted into, of all things, a preschool. It was a beautiful old building with lots of plaster molding, beautiful marble floor, and grand staircase. All the small viewing rooms were turned into classrooms, and the big open center area was an indoor playroom. Plus it had an elevator (with the old accordion style door!).
You got this! A perfect building will manifest. I was going to say it would drop into your lap but that would be painful and there’s already a similar story about that so .. keep on keepin’ on 😉
Sending you all the very best mojo for finding the perfect place. which I know you will find.
You are having to give up on so many awesome places — you HAVE to find the right spot soon! (And not just a storefront in a strip mall, either!!!) We’ll keep our fingers crossed!
What a beautiful building! I searched for my house for a year before I found something that hit all the ticks on my list. Don’t settle! Your bookstore is out there waiting for you.
Can’t wait to come back to San Antonio. I lived there the summer of ’76 just off Lackland AFB.
Thanks for the reply to Comment 58, Jenny. The landlord of Candidate One would be willing to extend an elevator upward and change the roof line IF it were allowable by historical regulations, but won’t contemplate adding a much-less-extensive-and-intrusive lift. That seems contradictory, but it’s his building, so we can’t argue. That really would have made a neat bookstore, though I cringe at what the rent would have been. If they’re really trying to sell it for $2.5 million https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/1150-S-Alamo-St-San-Antonio-TX/12424288/ despite Zillow thinking it’s worth half that (and not for sale) https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1150-S-Alamo-St-San-Antonio-TX-78210/168900371_zpid/ a lift would cost less than one half one percent of the asking price and LOTS less than an elevator extension. I wish I could look at this and see why a hydraulic elevator (which it almost certainly is) would require messing with the roof above the top landing.
You have moved on from this, but I don’t seem to be able to! I guess I’m stubborn. Or I don’t like a problem that seems like it should be solvable but which I can’t solve. Thanks again for the reply, and I’m sorry I wasted your time thinking more about this.
I am sending all the good thoughts your way that the perfect space comes along. I desperately want to be able to say “I didn’t mean to buy so many books, I was tipsy from the bar” to my husband so I NEED this bookstore to happen, haha.
Hoping the one you end up choosing is just as beautiful as the last two. Luck!
That church would have been awesome with a heap of taxidermied animals hanging from the ceiling.
So much agreement with everyone suggesting crowd funding! Please set up a kickstarter or go fund me for this- I would happily send you a few coins too! Please don’t compromise your dreams, dearest Bloggess, you have given so much comfort and joy to so many, and we would all be so very happy to give back. Let us help you get the perfect place, even if it is out of your budget and needs an elevator. We’re all one tribe, and we will look after our own! Thank you for being exactly who you are.
I am obsessed with this venture. OBSESSED.
Damn, that would have been cool! Plus you would have been protected from demons!