Firestorm Books & Cafe to close March 1; hopes to reopen at another location

Firestorm Books & Cafe announced by email Saturday, Jan. 25, that the downtown store will be closing March 1. The cooperative will remain open until then, and the owners of the collective hope to reopen at a new location A public meeting is planned for Feb. 12 to discuss Firestorm’s future.

Off the Map
Closing 48 Commerce Street

Perhaps you’ve heard rumors that Firestorm Cafe & Books is closing. It’s true! And also not. We will be closing our doors at 48 Commerce Street after March 1st – and then reopening them elsewhere, hopefully with your support!

Commerce Street has served us well, from guerrilla puppet shows to #Occupy assemblies, from organizing against the Business Improvement District to being named one of the country’s ten “coolest indie coffee shops.” Probably the best thing has been watching our community grow and diversify – seeing Firestorm become a space of encounter where people make the kinds of new connections needed to forge strong grassroots movements.

Yet even through all the good stuff, it’s often been a struggle just to stay afloat. After five and a half years, we recognize certain limitations attached to our project in its current location that compel us to seek a fresh start on new ground.

After March 1st, we will cease operations in our current location in order to focus the whole of our collective energy on securing a new space, and creating a new Firestorm to occupy it. Over a year of organizational visioning and business planning has laid the foundation for this exciting next phase, resulting in the adoption of new mission, vision and anti-oppression statements for our project. In capturing our collective’s shared values and hopes for the future, these statements act as an anchor for our project, wherever it may roam.

Much more can be said about this decision and what inspired it, but we want to say it in person! Please join us for a community conversation about the future of Firestorm on Wednesday, February 12th at 7pm. We’ll discuss our plans, suggest some ways that folks can lend us a hand, solicit feedback on our draft anti-oppression statement and, most importantly, create space to hear your ideas, concerns and desires for a new Firestorm! And of course, there will be free food! :)

Your friends,
Julie Schneyer, Lauren Lockamy, Libertie Valance,
Mira Greene, Travis Schuett
Firestorm Cafe & Books

PS – You can read our draft anti-oppression and sober space statements at


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0 thoughts on “Firestorm Books & Cafe to close March 1; hopes to reopen at another location

  1. boatrocker

    11:57pm Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.

    I’m sad another book store closed in town. Book stores matter. Yeah, actually they do.

    Mountain X does not give ‘another bookstore done gone’ articles the proper press for not having a literature editor (unless “The Hunger Games” or teenybopper vampire novelettes are involved), but we still read.

    Make me happy (please)- is the new start up business in its place a yoga studio, interpretive dance/ gluten-free pottery/ gypsy swing burlesque enclave, a micro brewery, massage studio, or an artisan peanut butter and jelly/free-range pretzel foodhaus?

    More importantly, have the new owners doubled the rent yet?

    Oooh and when is the play-for-free-singer-songwriter night? Hopefully Monday as we all travel to do it on Tuesday.

    I mourn for these things called book stores. One could buy books there too in between begging for wifi (not capitalized) connections and surfing the twittersphere.

  2. Big Al

    Was is really a “book store”? I dunno. I popped in once 5 years ago (I did not stay long, the looks I got implied I was far too conventional to be tolerated) and all the “books” I saw were mostly anti-capitalist/anarchist pamphlets and fanzines in a single magazine rack.

    Unless something changed since then, this was no competitor to Malaprop’s, Barnes & Noble, or even Downtown Books and News. Mostly just a coffee dive for like-minded subversive personalities.

    And they aren’t closing, just moving, right? Don’t cry for me, Argentinnaaa…

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