EAST VILLAGE — Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks began a new chapter Wednesday afternoon by debuting its new East Village location.
The specialty bookstore, which sells used cookbooks and vintage kitchenware, relocated to a larger space on East Second Street near Second Avenue after its old landlord refused to renew Slotnick's West Village lease last fall. The shop had been in business for 15 years.
“It was terribly, terribly stressful and I empathize with anybody who’s going through same thing,” Slotnick said.
Her story however, had a happy ending. Siblings Garth and Margo Johnston heard about the closure and offered Slotnick the basement-level space in their family’s brownstone, which they had been hoping to fill with a retail tenant.
“It’s really an amazing dream that actually happened,” Slotnick said. “It’s something that I wish every small businessperson in the city who’s being driven by their landlord could have happen.”
The new space is about 900 square feet — about triple the size of the store’s original location on West 10th Street — and can accommodate more customers while giving them room to browse through books, Slotnick said.
“It’s much more conducive to being a bookstore,” she said about the new space. “The other store was so long and narrow that it was very hard for people to get in there. Sometimes a group of six or seven people would come in and they could not all sit down and they couldn’t get past each other.”
The larger store could also be used to host small events, she said, and contains a small garden in the backyard “that holds intriguing possibilities,” she said.
But the store is still a work in progress, Slotnick said. There are a few shelves to arrange, boxes of books to unpack and a sign to hang outside her door, Slotnick said, but she couldn’t wait to see all her old customers again and meet new ones from the neighborhood.
“I couldn’t stand just sort of doing this in a vacuum. I was afraid almost that I would lose sight of what I was doing,” she said. “I want people to see this and come in.”
The bookstore, Slotnick added, isn’t just for serious cooks.
“There’s something here for everybody and anybody who wants to take a look,” she said.
Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, located at 28 E. Second St., will be open most days from 1 to 7 p.m. and by appointment. For more information and this week’s hours visit her website or call 212-989-8962.