Black Swan Books is moving from 2601 W. Main St. to 3310C Rosedale Ave., just north of Scott’s Addition.
Owner Nick Cooke said the Fan location closed Dec. 31 and they’re looking to reopen in the new location later this month.
He said the change is driven by the prevalence of online sales in Black Swan’s business.
“People shop differently than they used to, and at the same time, we’ve evolved,” Cooke said. “We’re selling different things from what we sold 16 years ago. We’re an online business now.”
Cooke founded Black Swan in 1997 with a shop near the intersection of Meadow Street and Monument Avenue. In 2003, he bought the building at 2601 W. Main St. and moved the shop there in 2004.
Though it’s focusing on online sales, and its roughly 2,800-square-foot new space is in an industrial park, Cooke said the store will be open for retail sales.
Black Swan carries used and rare books, some of which date to the 16th century. Cooke estimates Black Swan has about 8,000 books in stock, nearly all of which are available on its website.
“People don’t generally wander in and say, ‘Oh here’s a nice book for $500, I think I’ll buy it,’” Cooke said. “We also sell non-book things like manuscripts, personal letters, and photographs and scrapbooks. Just different things that are printed but not necessarily books.”
Black Swan also has a shop in Staunton, Virginia, which Cooke said will be unaffected by the Richmond store’s move.
Cooke said he is finalizing a deal for a new tenant to move into his former storefront, but that he can’t disclose details.
Documents filed with the city and Virginia ABC indicate it soon may be home to a specialty convenience store. Late last month, 3 Hens Inc. filed plans with the city to change the use of the space to a specialty food and drink store.
3 Hens also applied for a retail ABC license at the location in November for “Chacus Black Swan Market,” an entity tied to Mohammad Munir, who was unavailable for comment.
The potential market would join another recent arrival in the neighborhood. Brunch, a sister restaurant to Rueger Restaurant Group’s Lunch/Supper!, opened this week across the street from Black Swan in the former Starlite Dining & Lounge at 2600 W. Main St.
After 15 years in the Fan, Cooke said he and his staff were emotional when closing the shop one final time on New Year’s Eve.
“We have loved being here,” he said. “It’s a little sad to close in this location but we are adjusting to realities and are excited about what’s next.”