The Booksmith, which rang in its 40th anniversary in July, has more to celebrate this week: It's been granted Legacy Business status and will expand across Haight Street to the former Red Vic movie house, more recently known as Second Act Marketplace.
The American Booksellers Association reported that the bookstore, along with two other local institutions, the main branches of Green Apple Books and Dog-Eared Books, had been granted San Francisco's Legacy Business designation. Passed by Prop. J, that's reserved for businesses of 30 years or more, entitling them to annual grants of $500 per full-time employee. The designation also provides $4.50 per square foot to property owners who extend long-term leases to these businesses.
Meanwhile, as Hoodline and the Chronicle have already reported, Booksmith owners Christin Evans and Praveen Madan are now leasing 1727 Haight Street. Until August that former small movie theater was occupied by a food hall called Second Act Marketplace. The new shop, which the store is calling the Bindery, will be 2,400 square feet and start operations as a pop-up space, selling books and hosting events this fall. After the end of the year it will be built out as a dedicated space.
"This has been a big year for us," Booksmith lead buyer Camden Avery tells SFist. "We do so many events [at the Booksmith], so being able to have a space that is events-dedicated is a really great opportunity for us. Even this fall it's allowing us to host two events on a night where we would normally only be able to host one." The space seats about 50 comfortably. Avery adds that the expansion and the legacy business designation, while both exciting, are coincidental. "The legacy business status is a great thing, but it hasn't directly impacted our day-to-day operations," says Avery. "We lease our building from the Booksmith's founder, Gary Frank [who sold the store in 2007 to Evans and Madan] and it hasn't impacted our relationship with him yet."
Finally, the Booksmith isn't the only local independent book store to expand this year: Dog-Eared Books opened its third location in the Castro this May.