Closing the book on the Couth Buzzard

After 20 years on Phinney Ridge, Couth Buzzard Books is closing, according to the owners, who say they lost their lease for the used book store. A hunt for affordable space in the area that also fit their unique needs came to naught. They need at least 3,000 square feet and high ceilings to accommodate their towering book racks.

The owners said they couldn’t find the necessary combination of the right space and a rate they could afford. Explaining they operate on “razor thin margins,” they said they were faced with going from a lease rate of about $1 per square foot to at least $2 per square foot, effectively doubling their monthly rent.

The Buzzard’s departure June 1 or July 1 is one of several changes at the Greenwood and 73rd business area. Santoro’s Books and Metropolis recently saw dramatic rent increases shortly before the building they were in went on the market. With no buyers forthcoming, the building has been taken off the market, for now. Just the same, Metropolis decided to move, fearing the building could again go on the market. They’re moving in March to a spot a block north vacated by a Turkish rug store.

A banner hanging outside the book store just south of Ken’s Market on Greenwood Avenue sums it up, saying “The buzzard could find no new nest.”

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