Chicago/ Retail & Industry
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Published on June 19, 2024
Barnes & Noble to Open New Store in Chicago's Wicker Park Inside Historic BuildingSource: Google Street View

Bringing a chapter of book retail back to Chicago's West Side, Barnes & Noble has confirmed the grand opening of its new store situated in the historic district of Wicker Park. Scheduled for July 31, the latest addition to the company's expanding portfolio is setting up shop within the iconic former Noel State Bank building at 1601 N. Milwaukee Ave., as reported by CBS Chicago. This 20,000-square-foot literary haven originally planned to include a cafe, but a representative of Barnes & Noble told Hoodline Chicago, "Although we had originally planned on having a cafe in the Barnes & Noble Wicker Park location once construction started we found the structure would not allow. It would also have delayed our opening."

While bites and beverages would have made for a compelling additional draw, this anticipated opening nevertheless underscores Barnes & Noble's continued growth. The company remains on an upswing, with this location heralding one more in a series of store launches across the nation and particularly in the Chicago region. A CBS Chicago spokesperson shared, "The company announced its doors will officially open on July 31," marking a significant calendar event for local bibliophiles. Meanwhile, having turned the page on its retail presence, the space once home to a Walgreens store has been empty since January 2023, invites a new narrative for the building stretching more than 26,000 square feet.

Previously, the bookseller chain embraced a significant expansion within the city, inaugurating a Lincoln Park outlet last month. That store took up residence in what used to be an Urban Outfitters at the intersection of Clark Street and Diversey Parkway, as described by CBS Chicago. A strategic approach to brick-and-mortar retail seems evident as CBS Chicago notes this being the second Barnes & Noble storefront to spring up in Chicago this year.

Two more Barnes & Noble locations are gearing up to open their doors this summer. These expansions, occurring in Oswego and Northbrook, solidify Barnes & Noble's ambitious stride. As confirmed by ABC7 Chicago, the bookseller chain is experiencing "a period of tremendous growth," with eyes on further cementing its presence within the local community. Left waiting for an official opening announcement, residents of Oswego and Northbrook, according to ABC7 Chicago, should prepare their bookmarks for more chapters of literary delight to come soon.

Editor's Note: It was misstated that the new Wicker Park location still plans to include a cafe. The cafe will no longer be opening at this location.