Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, struggling to steady its financial footing as it approaches its 18th anniversary, is looking to move from its landmark location in Midtown to find cheaper rent.
Owner Philip Rafshoon (photo) made the surprise announcement early Monday in a press release.
As you may know, we have been challenged by changes in the book industry and the downturn in the economy. At this time, we regret to share with you that the lease at our current location will soon be coming to an end.
Our landlord has been extremely cooperative and has worked with us longer than expected. Our departure is amicable. The bottom line is simply we can no longer afford to rent this desirable space regardless of what business model we try to engage. In the near future, when you visit Outwrite, you will see that “for lease” signs have been installed.
The good news is that we’re looking for a new location that will allow Outwrite to continue serving you as Atlanta’s LGBT bookstore. In the mean time, we must reduce our inventory and beginning today almost everything in the store will be on sale for 25% off. Please join us for this special sale as well as two special events:
Poster Auction: We will be holding a special auction of our collection of posters signed by authors and celebrities to raise funds to help us relocate. Stay tuned to our communications and we will announce the date for this event very soon.
Anniversary Party: On Saturday December 3, we will be holding a party to celebrate Outwrite’s 18th Anniversary and show our appreciation for our customers.
We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming events, and appreciate your ongoing support.
The move means that LGBT Atlanta’s two iconic booksellers — Outwrite and Charis — may someday sit in new locations. Charis, which recently celebrated its 37th anniversary, announced in March plans to relocate and rebuild itself into a feminist center as part of a campaign that could cost $1 million. The changing habits of book-buying consumers and a troubled economy have impacted Outwrite since at least 2009.
Outwrite was among the first LGBT businesses in metro Atlanta to become a sanctuary zone as part of a response to the passage of tough immigration legislation in the state.
In August, Rafshoon received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. In March, he became the first openly gay person to receive the Alumni Legacy Award from Georgia Tech.