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Things just keep getting worse for St. Mark's Bookshop. The indie bookstore in the East Village has been in danger of shuttering for good for quite a while, and owners Bob Contant and Terry McCoy were served a Marshal's Notice some time last week, meaning the next step is an eviction. The shop could close as early as the end of this week, according to Bedford and Bowery.
In addition to the $62,000 owed in back rent, the shop must now also deal with a $34,400 tax lien and a dispute with one of its biggest book distributors that resulted in a frozen bank account. "That was the pressure point," a lawyer for St. Mark's told the neighborhood blog.
Last Thursday, the shop announced via Facebook that it would everything in the store is now 50% off — and cash-only. St. Mark's Bookshop is hoping that the sale will help get a little money flowing while working around its frozen bank account. Online sales have been suspended.
There's a chance that St. Mark's could live on in a different form in the future: EV Greive noted that longtime investors Charles FitzGerald and Rafay Khalid, part of a collective originally reported on by The Awl, are hoping to bring back St. Mark's Bookstore as a "startup" with a new lease and rent to match.
Jeremiah's Vanishing New York is skeptical about this new chapter, quoting Melville House's Simon Reichley: "This doesn't sound like Khalid and FitzGerald are saving St. Mark's Bookstore, so much as they are taking it over and changing its name. That's not philanthropy, that's a buyout."