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Marcus Bookstore Saved for Now; Still Faces Potential Closure

The historic Marcus Book Store was named after Marcus Garvey
The historic Marcus Book Store was named after Marcus Garvey

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Just days after Adobe Books closed in the Mission after being in business on 16th Street for 25 years, Marcus Book Store on Fillmore, which has operated there for 53 years and is the oldest African American book store in the country, is also threatened with closure. The store has hosted the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, Les Nubians, Dave Chappelle, Malcolm X, Alice Walker, Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and many other notable folks (see the full list and read the whole history of the shop).

SF Bayview reported that the shop owners would be evicted today, June 18, from the store as well as their home above it. But now the publication reports that the store has gotten a reprieve, at least temporarily:

After strong turnouts of Marcus Books supporters Sunday at St. Nicholas Church, where the Sweises are deacon and subdeacon, and for the meeting today at the book store, 1712 Fillmore St., San Francisco, the decision is that Marcus Books will not close and will not be moved, not now anyway...

The Johnson family, which owns the business, also owned the building until about two months ago when the Johnson's missed a bankruptcy court deadline and Nishan and Suhaila Sweis snapped up the historic Victorian for $1.59 million. Since then an organization called Westside Community Services has offered to pay the Sweis' $1.64 million, but it would likely go for closer to $3 million on the open market. Another press conference is planned for Saturday, June 22 at noon, stay tuned.
· Marcus Books on the Brink of Closure [SF Examiner]
· Save Marcus Books! [SF Bay View]
· Despite Protests, Adobe Books Is Closed After 25 Years [Racked SF]

Marcus Books

1712 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA (415) 346-4222 Visit Website

Marcus Bookstore

1712 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA