The BookBar, a bookstore in Denver's Berkeley neighborhood featuring a wine bar and renowned for its programming, will close its doors on January 31 after 10 years in business. Nicole Sullivan, who founded the Bookbar in 2013 and has been a highly visible advocate this past year of free speech within the industry, stated in a release that she decided to close the bookstore due to “fatigue and rising costs.”

“With nearly all costs of doing business on the rise,” Sullivan stated, “our expenses continue to outpace revenue. It’s just no longer sustainable in the long-term.”

Two years ago, BookBar downsized its book inventory to more effectively host events while at the same time maintaining Covid safety protocols. Last year, BookBar underwent renovations designed to grow its customer base and further encourage people to gather there and linger, expanding its space in order to better accommodate large groups and updating its bar menu; a full liquor license obtained under the supervision of Jonah Kaplan—whose father, Mitch, owns Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fla.

Besides wanting to spend more time with her family and friends, Sullivan is closing the BookBar to focus more on running the Bookies, a 50-year-old children’s bookstore in Denver that she acquired a year ago after the previous owner's death. Sullivan also plans to continue maintaining several other projects that she has spearheaded in recent years. These include BookGive, a nonprofit organization that she launched in 2018 to provide gently-used books to communities in need throughout Denver, and BookBar Press, a micropublisher that Sullivan, in 2020, said would specialize in “literary, underserved voices, whose stories reflect the shared experiences of our community.” There are, to date, three BookBar Press titles in print.

According to the farewell letter that Sullivan posted on the BookBar homepage, BookBar employees will be given the option of transferring to either the Bookies or BookGive.