Updated 4:15Â pm, Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Aardvark Books, an independent San Francisco store that has been in business for nearly four decades, is likely to close next year.
The storeâ€™s owner, John Hadreas, confirmed that the Mission District building containing the store is on the market. If it sells, the bookshop will be open through the end of January, he said.
â€œThe store doesnâ€™t make money anymore,â€ said Hadreas, who has owned the store and the building since 1979.
Aardvark, which sells new and used books, opened in 1978. Itâ€™s in a busy commercial district, just off Market Street. Owen, a 10- or 11-year-old cat, is a popular attraction for customers; he usually curls up by (or on top of) the storeâ€™s window display.
Aardvarkâ€™s single-story, 3,125-square-foot building at 227 Church St. went up for sale this week on Redfin, for $2.8 million.
â€œItâ€™s not an easy decision at all,â€ Hadreas said of closing the shop. â€œI donâ€™t like it.â€
But, he added, â€œIf I get the right terms … itâ€™s time to go.â€
On Monday night, Aardvark posted a message on Facebook about its possible closure, saying that for the moment, books will be bought and sold â€œas normal.â€
â€œOn a side note, Owen is in no danger of homelessness,â€ the store added, having received a number of inquiries about the cat.
Dog Eared Books Castro, at 489 Castro St., and Whatever …, which sells comics at 548 Castro St., are the only bookstores in the nearby Castro. Books Inc., the independent chain, closed its 21-year-old store at 2275 Market St. last year. A Different Light Bookstore, a gay-oriented store, shut its doors in 2011.
Aardvarkâ€™s clerk Michael Jacomella, called the shop â€œa beloved place,â€ adding, â€œWe all have to think about our future now.â€ Of the storeâ€™s seven employees, five are full-time workers.
â€œThe cityâ€™s changing,â€ Jacomella said. â€œIn this immediate area, there are condos going up everywhere. Itâ€™s becoming a condo canyon.â€
More bookstores in the Bay Area have opened than closed in the past two years. A partial list:
The Bindery, San Francisco, Upper Haight (2017)
Book Passage, Sausalito (2017)
Black Bird Bookstore, San Francisco, Outer Sunset (2017)
Amazon Books, San Jose (2017; a Walnut Creek location also scheduled to open this year)
Wolfman New Life Quarterly Bookstore, Oakland (2017)
Books Inc., Santa Clara (2016)
Dog Eared Books, San Francisco, Castro District (2016)
Bel & Bunnaâ€™s Books, Lafayette (2016)
Charlieâ€™s Corner, San Francisco, Noe Valley, (2016)
Copperfieldâ€™s Books, Novato (2016)
Books on B, Hayward (scheduled to open this week)
Books Inc., Campbell (scheduled to open 2018)
Dark Carnival, Berkeley (2017)
Modern Times Bookstore Collective, San Francisco, Mission District (2016)
Books Inc., San Francisco, The Castro (2016)