Closing a Chapter
Staple South Congress bookstore closes one chapter to open another in Old Austin
If you've walked down South Congress in the past few years, you may have noticed the decreasing number of local establishments still keeping Austin "weird" in that particular pocket of town. After Lucy in Disguise announced its closure earlier this year, South Congress Books came to mind as one of the fearless few still working to retain a modicum of Austin soul in that increasingly soulless strip.
As such, the store's December 28 announcement that it will be closing its current location in January feels a bit like the final domino in a long line of bad news for what was once one of the "weirdest" of weird corners in our city. The small business shared the news via social media, thanking customers for their love and support over the last 11 years.
"It may not surprise many of you to learn that we have been priced out of South Congress, so we are moving in January," the post reads. "Why the short notice? We have been negotiating down to the wire and just signed a new lease last week."
So at least the news is not completely tragic: The bookstore will remain, just not on South Congress. In fact, the post also shared that business has never been better for the small, independent book store, and that they'll still be located in Central Austin.
The new outpost will be a vintage bungalow on Kerbey Lane, directly across from the iconic original cafe at 3703 Kerbey Lane (and, we might add, down the street from Spread & Co, which has recently become the shared home of Wine for the People — and what pairs better with a glass of wine than a good book?).
While the new location is slated to open in March 2023, the South Congress spot will close its doors by January 8, 2023. The shop will offer a 20 percent off sale from January 2 through January 8 to help lower the inventory before movers arrive to pack everything up.
For bibliophiles worried about where to buy used books between the January closure and March reopening, Austinites can still get their book fix at the shop's small outpost inside Uncommon Objects.
"Bear with us while we temporarily close shop to move. We hope to see you in March at our new home," the post continues, adding later: "Happy New Year from the South Congress Books family — Sheri, Allison, John, Erika, Nicole, Luke, and Kaila."