There is a rumor buzzing around small business owners on Capitol Hill, and the rumors are remarkably similar: They say that literary institution Elliott Bay Book Company is going to close its Pioneer Square store and move to Capitol Hill, specifically to 10th Ave, between Pike and Pine, right next to Oddfellow's Hall. Because we are all sick of crappy phone photos, here is the Google Street View of the building:
I called Mike Oaksmith, Managing Partner of Hunters Capital LLC, the business that owns the property. Oaksmith only said "I cannot confirm nor deny" those rumors, and suggested that I talk to Peter Aaron, the owner of Elliott Bay Book Company. "He would have the best insight," Oaksmith said. Aaron is currently traveling and is unavailable for comment. An e-mail sent to Elliott Bay manager Tracy Taylor yesterday has gone unanswered.
So let's take a flight of fancy for a moment and pretend these rumors are true: This would be a great thing for Elliott Bay Book Company. Seattle traditionalists may grumble that Elliott Bay's current location, with the creaky floors and Pioneer Square charm, makes the bookstore. But let's be honest: It's a chore to go to Pioneer Square nowadays, and the parking has always been a problem. Things are only going to get worse once the Viaduct comes down (or, God forbid, gets retrofitted). If Elliott Bay can become a neighborhood bookstore, part of a real neighborhood where people spend their days and their nights, there's a very good chance that it will thrive and find a new life.
I'll keep you posted as soon as I hear something new.