The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks Eyes New Home in East Village

By Danielle Tcholakian | November 20, 2014 8:48am | Updated on November 21, 2014 4:27pm
 Bonnie Slotnick in her cookbook store on West 10th Street.
Bonnie Slotnick in her cookbook store on West 10th Street.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Danielle Tcholakian

EAST VILLAGE — Bonnie Slotnick may have found a new home for her cookbook store, just a day after she told customers that her landlord refused to renew her lease.

Slotnick, 61, has operated Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks on West 10th Street for 15 years. Her lease expires Jan. 31, 2015, and her landlord won't renew it, she said.

After reading news reports about Slotnick's troubles, a pair of siblings reached out to her on Tuesday about a retail space available in their childhood home on East Second Street.

"I'm speechless," Slotnick said after seeing the new spot, at 28 E. Second St., on Wednesday morning. "It's perfect."

Margo and Garth Johnston had been searching for a retail tenant for the belowground space when Margo came across online reports about Slotnick's situation.

"I sent it to Garth and said, 'I’d kind of like a bookstore,'" Margo Johnston said. "And he called me immediately, and we called Bonnie."

The siblings told Slotnick about their mother, Eden Ross Lipson, who owned the building until she died from pancreatic cancer in 2009. Lipson spent more than three decades reviewing books for the New York Times Book Review, and she had an extensive cookbook collection.

In fact, a cookbook that Lipson wrote about making applesauce with her children was published shortly after her death.

"They were so sweet on the phone," Slotnick said of the siblings. "They were so excited to tell me about their mom."

Margo Johnston said the whole family always had "a soft spot" for the independent bookstore Shop Around the Corner, and that she and her brother were taught that "bookstores are to be respected and appreciated and patronized."

The basement-level commercial space in the Johnston siblings' building is about 900 square feet, triple the size of the space Slotnick currently pays $3,500 a month to rent at 163 W. 10th St.

But Johnston assured Slotnick that she and her brother are more concerned with finding the right tenant than the rent.

"We've been told we could certainly charge a lot more," Johnston said. "But [getting] the most money is not the important thing. The place is really important to us."

"We want to be able to support the kind of neighborhood that we loved growing up in and that we're proud to still be a part of," she added.

The next step is for the Johnston siblings to hire a lawyer to hammer out the details of the deal, but Johnston already shares Slotnick's excitement about the plans.

"It really felt very serendipitous for us, too," Johnston said. "It really feels like it would be such a great place to have a bookstore."