You know this script too well by now: beloved New York City neighborhood staple announces it’s closing, there’s much hand wringing about “there goes the neighborhood” and everyone gets sad. This one feels a little bit different though: Dumbo bookstore staple powerHouse seemed as ingrained in the neighborhood as the cobblestone streets themselves. Watching readings from its huge concrete seating steps made cozy book readings feel like the high artistic combat of a Roman coliseum, and we were all better for it. The 10 years it’s been open have seen dramatic change (and increasingly expensive rents) in the booming neighborhood. Today the huge bookstore and event space announced via email that it’s shutting its doors at the end of next month after landlord Two Trees wanted to increase the rent to more than twice the $20,000 per month they were already paying.
But it’s not gone for good: Owner Daniel Power told us they’ll move to a smaller pop-up location a few blocks away this summer and open it as a full bookstore soon after, but gone will be the 10,000-square-foot “arena” space. Nothing is planned to move into the space after they leave, Power said.
“We’re not paying that,” Power said of the rent. “I can understand if it was someone coming in but personally would rather stay there until they had someone.”