Beloved Indie Bookstore McNally Jackson to Open Long-Anticipated ‘Burg Outpost by November

The building in 2014. Photo by Cate Corcoran


The highly anticipated Brooklyn outpost of Manhattan’s beloved independent bookstore McNally Jackson Books, in the works since 2014, is aiming to open this fall, permits allowing, a worker at the store’s booth at the Brooklyn Book Festival told Brownstoner Sunday.

Workers were handing out business cards with the Williamsburg address and the phrase “opening soon.” A big sign with a drawing of the Williamsburg store dominated the center of the booth. It said: “Please don’t ask us exactly when but certainly by November.”

The bookstore announced its plan to move to the Lewis Steel Building at 76 North 4th Street in Williamsburg back in 2014, and the opening was set for fall of that year.

The Lewis Steel Building, a former factory, has been under construction for years, initially as condos, then rentals, under the names SteelWorks Lofts and Lebowski. The developer is Jacob Toll and the architect is Gene Kaufman Architects, with residential interiors by AvroKo.

Construction in 2014. Photo by Cate Corcoran

Construction in 2014. Photo by Cate Corcoran

Bookstore owner Sarah McNally picked Williamsburg for its energy and “inspiring independent businesses,” she told Bedford and Bowery back in 2014:

Every time I go to Williamsburg I go weak at the knees for it, there are so many inspiring independent businesses and there’s great energy on the streets. There is nowhere like it in New York right now. I live in South Brooklyn, but when my international friends want to visit Brooklyn, only Williamsburg makes sense, the rest of Brooklyn is just little neighborhoods that often don’t flow into each other. Williamsburg is a world in itself. The chains are coming, it’s going to start changing, but its vitality is, at least for the moment, irrepressible.

Many of them have since closed, and national chains — J.Crew, Whole Foods and Apple, to name a few — have moved in.

— Reporting by Susan De Vries

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