WILLIAMSBURG – After more than a decade as an independent bookselling icon, McNally Jackson has finally made its way to Brooklyn. Over the weekend, their new shop quietly opened its doors in Williamsburg.
“We’re excited to see what evolves with the new staff, new space and new regulars,” said Sam MacLaughlin, who will run the Brooklyn operation.
Tucked into the brick facade of the Lewis Steel building, the nearly 4,000 sq. ft. space is home to roughly 35,000 titles, he guesstimated, though they’re still waiting on some books to come in.
The expansion store will retain some of the key elements of McNally Jackson’s Prince Street location, namely the grouping of literature by author’s nationality, a careful balance of depth and breadth in the offerings, and what MacLaughlin characterized as a “knowledgeable but unpretentious vibe.”
Besides standard literary offerings, there will be a robust kids section and “lots and lots of storytimes and kids events” for a neighborhood “rife with babies,” MacLaughlin said, laughing.
While the calendar is still coming together, patrons are promised all manner of events, from readings to talks and panels across a range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction.
Most events will be held upstairs, on the mezzanine of the two-story outlet, though MacLaughlin hasn’t ruled out some manner of split-level performance, with readers declaiming work from on high to those gathered below.
If there wasn’t much to-do about the Sunday opening, McNally Jackson’s social media manager has clearly enjoyed springing up seemingly overnight in the neighborhood:
One fun thing that keeps happening here is people asking when we opened and we answer 10am, and they ask, no, how long have you been here and we answer since 10am and blow their minds.
— McNally Jackson (@mcnallyjackson) January 28, 2018
But it was a relatively long journey to this past Sunday, said MacLaughlin. The lease for the new store was signed back in 2014, and they’ve been working to open the storefront since August. Plans for a Christmas opening were held up by all the myriad delays that are inherent to such big projects, but they’re certainly here now.
“We’ll see what becomes of this seed we’ve planted,” said MacLaughlin.
The new McNally Jackson store is located at 76 North 4th Street in Williamsburg, between Wythe and Berry Streets. They’re open from 10 am – 10 pm Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 9 pm on Sundays.