Barnes & Noble Returns To 3rd Street Promenade

July 17, 2023 ·

SANTA MONICA—Barnes & Noble, a nationwide bookselling company, is returning to the 3rd Street Promenade at a new location, according to the City of Santa Monica.

A once-vacant space in the 1300 block of the 3rd Street Promenade began teasing a new bookstore earlier this month. Papers hung in the windows which had book-related puns like “New store coming soon… It’s a real page-turner!”  and “Coming soon… Better late than novel!”

Suspicion of the company’s return to the Promenade began swirling on social media. Suspicions were confirmed when a large banner reading “Barnes & Noble Coming Soon” covered the storefront on July 13.

The space that will soon become the new Barnes & Noble once housed the Midnight Special Bookstore, which sold books to the community for 32 years. Owned by Margie Ghiz, the store was described by Downtown Santa Monica on Facebook as “an iconic Westside bookstore that closed in 2004, and hosted authors including bell hooks, Octavia Butler, Edward Said, Dave Eggers, and more!” 

Midnight Special Bookstore closed its doors in 2004 due to the loss of a reduced rental agreement with the space’s landlord, according to reporting by the New York Times.

A Barnes & Noble store previously occupied a 30,000-square-foot corner space at the cross streets of 3rd Street and Wilshire Boulevard for 22 years. In 2018, the location was permanently closed.

By Paige Strickland

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