BookBar Announces Purchase of The Bookies Bookstore

BookBar Mon, 11/01/2021 - 12:00am

Denver Indie Bookstore, Beloved for Its Children’s Programming, Joins BookBar Family


DENVER -- November 1, 2021 -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  -- BookBar, the independent bookstore and wine bar located in northwest Denver, is pleased to announce the purchase of The Bookies Bookstore, an independent Denver area bookstore for more than 50 years. The Bookies went up for sale earlier in 2021 after the passing of beloved owner and founder, Sue Lubeck. 

“We weren’t seeking to purchase another bookstore or even contemplating a second BookBar location, but I couldn’t bear the possibility of Denver losing such an iconic bookstore,” said BookBar owner Nicole Sullivan. “This will not be a second BookBar and, sorry, but we will not be adding a bar. The Bookies will remain The Bookies. Our intention is to continue, the best we can, to carry on with Sue’s vision and honor her legacy.” 

Sullivan said she only met the previous owner of The Bookies a few times but she always admired her commitment to community literacy and her determination to get books into hands. She added that she does not anticipate many changes in the first several months of ownership. 

“We will go in as sponges and just take everything in. We are eager to get to know all of the staff, learn processes, new systems and inventory,” said Sullivan. “There is so much for us to learn from a bookstore that has been in business for fifty years!” 

Sullivan shared that BookBar staff is especially excited about The Bookies’ extensive children’s programming and inventory.

“It’s never been more clear, after the last couple of years, just what an impact children’s literacy has on communities and on children themselves,” said Marilyn Robbins, BookBar’s children’s program coordinator. “It was necessary for children and teens to be able to escape the day-to-day anxiety of Covid and online learning by getting lost in stories.” 

She added that virtual visits during the pandemic were particularly crucial to supplementing literacy programming in online schooling last year and credits BookBar’s children’s programming with keeping kids engaged with literature, keeping authors connected with their readers, and contributing significantly to BookBar’s bottom line.

In a letter to The Bookies staff, the Lubeck family thanked all employees for their years of support and continued dedication to The Bookies’ mission. Acknowledging that Sue can never be replaced, their goal has been to find a new owner that would sustain the Bookies and its legacy. “We believe Nicole has the capability, energy, and excitement to bring the business into the future.”

As a part of the purchase process, both stores will reincorporate as a Public Benefit Corporation, a first step to becoming a Certified B Corporation. Sullivan plans to integrate The Bookies with BookGive, their nonprofit organization, just as BookBar has - by donating 10% of all book sales and 100% of all VIP Membership dues - to the organization and offer staff opportunities to ‘volunteer’ for paid shifts at the non-profit headquarters. BookGive redistributes gently used books to Metro Denver. Since opening at 4890 Lowell Blvd. in March 2020, BookGive has collected and redistributed more than 70,000 books to those in need. 

About BookBar

BookBar opened in 2013 in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood in Northwest Denver.  A 2300-square foot independent bookstore and wine bar, BookBar dedicates more than 20 percent of its space to children’s books. BookBar offers a robust calendar of daily events, including five story times each week and dozens of children’s and YA author events annually, and serves as a popular community gathering space where groups of all ages meet often to discuss books. 

About The Bookies

The Bookies is an independent bookstore that first started in 1971 in founder Sue Lubeck’s basement before settling in at its current location in Glendale, Colorado, a small suburb tucked into the heart of Metro Denver. During its 50 years in business, The Bookies has been a go-to resource for educators, parents, and readers throughout Denver and beyond. 

Contact nicole@bookbardenver.com with any questions.