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Warwick’s Bookstore Saved By Local Bibliophiles

People walk past Warwick's bookstore in La Jolla, May 15, 2021.

Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Above: People walk past Warwick's bookstore in La Jolla, May 15, 2021.

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When the owner of Warwick's in La Jolla was given two weeks to meet an all-cash offer of $8.3 million for the building the store had occupied for 70 years, ... Read more →

Aired: May 13, 2021 | Transcript

Warwick’s bookstore in La Jolla has been in business for 125 years, the last 70 in the same building on Girard Avenue.

Fourth-generation Warwicks, Nancy and her sister Cathy Warwick O'Neill, own and operate the store, believed to be the oldest family-owned bookstore in America.

In the midst of negotiating a new lease, the building’s owner told Nancy he had accepted an unsolicited, $8.3 million all-cash offer to buy the building. He gave her two weeks to beat the offer.

Nancy was right in the middle of the proverbial rock (taking a chance the new owner would be generous) and a hard place (closing the store), the latter being the fate of many local bookstores in San Diego.

John Wilkens, feature writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, talked with Midday Edition about the resolution to this chapter in the Warwick's story, which features former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory and some three-dozen Warwick's customers, who raised the money, bought the building and extended Warwick's a 10-year lease with options for longer.

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