'The Lit. Bar' Bookstore to Open in the Bronx

'The Lit. Bar' Bookstore to Open in the Bronx

The indie bookstore is scheduled to open this summer in Mott Haven.

'The Lit. Bar' bookstore is scheduled to open in the Bronx this summer, making it the borough's first bookstore since the Baychester Barnes & Noble closed in 2016, according to AMNY

The idea for 'The Lit. Bar' started in 2014 when 31-year-old Bronx native Noelle Santos was "wasting time on Facebook" and stumbled upon a petition to stop the Bronx Barnes & Noble from closing.

"I lived at that Barnes & Noble, so I was devastated," Santos told AMNY. "I wasn't educated on the power and magic of independent bookstores because I had never been exposed to one."

At the time, Santos was working a six-figure job in human relations for an IT firm. She had plans to move to Long Island City and was urging friends to continue to sign the Barnes & Noble petition. However, once she came up with the idea of the Lit. Bar, Santos no longer felt comfortable leaving. 

"I was very comfortable, moving up the corporate ladder, and I thought that was what life ways," Santos told AMNY. "But I canceled my life... I was tired of running away. I felt like a coward leaving the borough in the same condition I found it in." 

Santos began saving money to start her own bookstore and looked to the city's other indie bookstores for inspiration. 

"I did whatever I could to get hands on training," Santos told AMNY.

In 2016, Santos took a weeklong course on running a bookstore in the Amelia Islands in Florida. She then started an Indiegogo campaign, raising $100,000 for the bookstore in only five weeks. 

The Lit. Bar is now open in South Bronx and easily accessible by subway for other New Yorkers. Santos hopes The Lit. Bar can be "a safe space for people to actually connect."