Let’s remember when Elliott Bay Book Company re-opened on Capitol Hill, on this day in 2010 (April 14)
Elliott Bay Book Company has been a fixture in Seattle since its opening in 1973. For the first thirty six years, it was found comfortably in Pioneer Square. The Pioneer Square location, though, became something of a curse with patrons complaining about crime and lack of parking, and when the financial crisis hit in 2008, book sales slowed down (along with every other commodity).
The legendary bookstore’s owners told the PI that staying in Pioneer Square was just not sustainable, and they found a new location on Capitol Hill, in the Oddfelllows Building.
Of the occasion, HistoryLink wrote:
On Wednesday April 14, 2010, Seattle’s beloved Elliott Bay Book Company marks its bittersweet relocation to 1521 10th Avenue on Capitol Hill with a “soft” re-opening celebration. The store — which has rightfully been called “the heart of Seattle’s literary community” — follows up with an even bigger celebration the following day. Despite some lingering sadness over its departure from its original nest of nearly four decades, one measure of the joy the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, nearby businesses, and area residents feel about their new neighbor’s arrival is the “Welcome to the Neighborhood” banner hung above the April 15th Grand Opening Block Party. The party features a ribbon-cutting ceremony, music (by the rock band, Let’s Get Lost), beer and liquor, and delectable edibles (provided by the Oddfellows Cafe, Cupcake Royale, and Molly Moon’s).
The Elliot Bay Book Co. was founded back in 1973 by Walter Carr in the historic (1890) Globe Building (1st Avenue and Main Street). Then, around 1998, it was sold to the Third Place Books owners, who soon offed it to an employee, Peter Aaron. In its 38 years of operation, Elliott Bay became established as the town’s premier book shop, and since 1979 it featured a popular basement café and in recent times held about 500 author reading events per year. The Associated Press listed Elliott Bay Book Co. as one of America’s nine “destination” bookstores.