The Bronx is now the location of a new store from which to pick up best-selling books. The new establishment, The Lit. Bar, is the only bookstore in the entire borough.
The Lit Bar is owned by Noëlle Santos ,who states her ambition to open a bookstore stemmed from her never having visited an independent book-centric shop before.
“Thank you for opening your hearts and helping me show the world what many fail to see— that the Bronx is no longer burning except with desire to read,” said Santos at the store opening.
According to the New York Post, Santos is a 32-year-old Bronx resident from the Hunts Point section of the borough. She once participated in an attempt to save a Barnes & Noble in the Co-op City area of the Bronx by signing a petition and protesting with 3,000 others. Santos revealed that the Barnes & Noble was inaccessible due to the lack of transportation to that area of the borough.
The same year that the Bronx Barnes & Noble location closed, Santos won a Citi Foundation statewide business plan competition to open her book shop. After winning, she secured more than $170,000 in crowdsource campaign funds for the venture.
“I didn’t know owning a bookstore was a real job,” Santos revealed.
Hundreds of citizens attended the opening of The Lit. Bar, which occurred on National Independent Book Store Day.
The store has unique sections such as “This is where black women and feminism intersect,” “Hip hop is poetry” and a specific section that houses all the books recommended by the late emcee Nipsey Hussle.
“I have the freedom to react to market changes and react to political things in real time,” Santos revealed. “Barnes & Noble can’t react that quickly.”
Before opening The Lit Bar, Santos worked in Human Resources and accounting. The Lit. Bar is located on 131 Alexander Avenue in the Bronx.