DART Diary: Independent Bookstores

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday June 13, 2024

With hot weather just around the corner, it’s time to cool off with a good read—better still, a cool afternoon or evening in a welcoming independent bookstore. So this week we are expanding the DART indie bookstore list, a few at a time. The good news is that post-pandemic retail vacancies have made even more room for indies, and the results are inspiring.   


The Book Club Bar in the East Village is a cozy spot that offers wine, craft beers, coffee and tea. It has a regular schedule of readings, Drink and Draw nights, film screenings—and invites readers to hold their own book club events there. Info.  From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., readers can bring a laptop and work at the Book Club, but from 7 p.m. to midnight, laptops must be retired for readings and other events. The Book Club Bar, 197 East 3rd Street, New York, NY. Info


 The founder’s grandfather, who was a Holocaust survivor, co-founded a clothing store in the Lower East Side with the name P&T Knitwear—and the owner kept the name to honor his heritage. With its highly curated selection organized by topic by its knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff. P&T Knitwear welcomes readers with a large reading area, cafe and a professional podcast studio that is free to use. The store also accepts submissions for independently published books. Signing up for the newsletter gets you a free drip coffee and a list of free or low-cost events in your inbox. P&T Knitwear, 180 Orchard Street. Info




Molasses Books, a small bookstore and bar in Bushwick offers a curated selection of used books and a cozy vibe. Doubling as a coffee shop and bar, Molasses is open until midnight. This neighborhood store has become a favorite spot for many, as it offers a niche catalog of books and delicious drinks in a welcoming environment. It’s a popular  place for a date, offering some of the best coffee in the area and a charming vibe. While the store may look small, it has a wide collection of rare finds, with books stacked from floor to ceiling.Molasses Books, 770 Hart Street, Brooklyn, NY Info Above: The Albertine, arguably Manhattan’s most beautiful bookstore


 You can read the rest of the list here. Stay tuned for the return of our Pimp Your Bookcases series, coming soon! And please send info about your favorite independent bookstore to