Upshur Street Books Launches Kickstarter Today

827 Upshur Street, NW

From an email:

“Today Upshur Street Books launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the new neighborhood bookstore on Upshur Street in Petworth. This is a new project by the same team behind Petworth Citizen and Crane & Turtle. The bookstore will focus on literary fiction and poetry, art books, children’s books and local authors and will be the first stand-alone, independent bookstore selling new books to open in in DC in 20 years.

Upshur Street Books will complement the Reading Room at Petworth Citizen, home to a Free Book Library and a rotating list of literary events.

Find a link to the Kickstarter campaign here.”

22 Comment

  • More good things happening on Upshur. Ruppert has led a major resurgence in the area… When will other developers catch on?

    • I’m all for small business to fill up the Upshur area but I really hope it doesn’t get out of control, One of the nice things about Petworth is that it kind of has a similar feel as it did 10 years ago when I moved here. I like the increased options and some new conveniences but more growth in the neighborhood is not particularly attractive to me.

      • I’m all for more growth. But I agree on the need for “smart growth”. With the changing demographic, the needs of the area are changing. I definitely don’t want any “chains” or more liquor stores, corner stores or pay day loan places… Small, locally owned retail and food places would be perfect. More family oriented, casual eateries.

      • Couldn’t disagree more. I moved in 5 years ago and think there is a ton of development (still many vacant lots/storefronts) that could be done before losing the charm of the neighborhood. I’ve heard some hysterical “parking is getting as bad as Adams Morgan” at the local ANC meetings… we are a long, long way away from being overdeveloped.

        • The parking issue has got to go… That ANC rep, Vann Di, rants on it non-stop. It’s his only focus! He says there is no parking on Quincy, but I walk it every night and see at least 5 spots. This is all because one guy on Quincy didn’t get a handicap spot in front of his house for his wife who has lupus. I sympathize, but has nothing to do with overcrowding all because you can’t park right in front of your house…

          • That guy (husband who didn’t get handicap spot) was at the June meeting at the Petworth Library about the Hebrew Home redevelopment, and he was all up in arms about parking.

          • Vann DI is not the ANC rep for this block of Upshur St.

      • I would hardly call filling in the vacant retail spaces on Upshur as “growth.” Those are all commercially zoned properties, and all currently configured to support retail operations. As a Petworth resident, I would love to see every single one of them filled with a quality business paying taxes and keeping people employed – bonus if they serve the public demands for goods or services. Please don’t try to spin renewal as “growth.” It’s not like your neighbor’s house in residential Petworth is changing into a jazz club and beer garden.

  • I wonder if Hair Impressions would still be around if they had thought to utilize Kickstarter.

  • I like the offers that they give for pledging and am glad that they have smaller pledge amounts too. Just signed myself up for a literary mixology class. The curated bookshelf is pretty cool too.

  • Does anyone involved in the project have any experience with, well, books? It’s great that the team knows about hospitality, the arts, design, and restaurants, but I’d have more confidence about the success of the venture if they mentioned anything about their literary interests or understanding of this specialized industry.

    • binpetworth

      +1. I worked in a family run bookstore that sadly closed after decades of service. It really is a specialized industry. I hope it is indeed going to be a bookstore and not a cafe/restaurant that happens to have some books around.

      • I’d actually rather have a cafe with books around… Make it a coffee shop with a baked goods and I’d be there every day. I’m tired of Qualia. Too small.

    • I saw a posting on the New York craigslist looking for someone to manage this bookstore, so I’m going to say: “probably not.”

  • Why does a developer need kickstarter for a bookstore but not for all the restaurants they open on the same street?

    • Agree. I can’t justify contributing to a for-profit kickstarter. If they offered me a percentage of their business instead of a totebag, than I would reconsider investing in them.

    • Because books.

    • Perhaps because the bookstore is a special kind of business nowadays. It takes investor gumption and community involvement to sponsor a local bookstore, whereas there might be more investor money available for a hot new restaurant. I’m rooting for this business to succeed– and I say this as an English teacher, library user, and Amazon Prime member.

    • I see the argument against contributing to a for-profit enterprise. But here, I was happy to contribute because (a) I want to support the bookstore; and (b) they provided a benefit for contributing that I thought was fun. If you have wads of capital, maybe they would issue shares in exchange for a contribution. But, I’m happy contributing a relatively modest amount and getting a mixology class out of it.

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