Another day, another unfortunate closure that will forever change the cultural landscape of the city.
This time around it’s the iconic Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books – which have operated at 34 Carmine Street in Greenwich Village for over 30 years – which will close by the end of June due to (you guessed it) a a rent increase, Patch first reported.
“I’ve had fun all these years, I’m not discouraged,” owner Jim Drougas told the outlet. “Actually, I hope something will happen. We had a big impact and a lot of people were very supportive of us.”
The bookstore has always been more than a local retail store. According to New York Timesit was one of four Manhattan headquarters for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to that, in 2011, it housed the Occupy Wall Street Library.
Alas, while a move away from its legendary location will clearly affect the kind of traffic the store will receive, Drougas revealed that he is looking to open up new space elsewhere. Maybe, he said, he could even share square footage with another company, which is exactly what he’s been doing for the past 10 years alongside Carmine Street Comics.
“Even if we have to close, for now I’m pretty determined to continue somewhere,” Drougas told Patch, mentioning that while he hopes to stay in the village, he’s also considering other neighborhoods.
Customers wishing to assist Drugas in his efforts should pay attention to a potential fundraising page once a new location is selected.
Speaking of these customers, the public reaction to the impending closure has been one of sadness, shock and surprise.
When the Instagram account @VanishingNY first posted about the bookstore closing, followers took to the comments section to express their devastation. “The last bastion cannot fall!” a user wrote.
“This one really hurts,” another commented.
“Last time I was there, there was a guy sitting with little light on selling books for civil service jobs,” a third recalled. “I’ve been going there for decades. Greed is killing this town.”
Here’s hoping we’ll soon see a new iteration of non-oppressive, non-imperialist bargain books somewhere in New York.