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August 27, 2019

Penn Book Center will stay open with new owners

After an outcry of support and petitions to keep the bookstore open, out-of-town owners stepped in to purchase the space

Business Bookstores
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Penn Book Center announced it will stay open with new owners after months of unrest surrounding the bookstore's possible closure.

Penn Book Center, the independently-owned Penn adjacent bookstore that's been open since 1962, will permanently remain open following its months-long battle for survival.

In a statement posted to the PBC website, former owners Ashley Montague and Michael Row said that thanks in part to all the publicity and public outrage over the center's closing, out-of-towners Matt Duquès and Diana Bellonby have purchased the space.

"We think Matt and Diana are the perfect people to build on the legacy of the Penn Book Center. As academics, they understand what makes the Penn Book Center unique, and they have the vision and energy to make it a viable trade store," the statement reads.

Both Duquès and Bellonby, who are coming to Philly from Alabama, have backgrounds in English and hospitality, according to the statement.

PBC announced would be closing due to financial reasons back in April. But the center's importance in the literary community at Penn, and in Philly at large, sparked widespread public outcry as it is one of the last independent bookstores of its kind in the city. A petition and protests calling for the University of Pennsylvania to step in garnered city-wide attention. 

In May, PBC announced it would stay open through the summer so it could attempt to formulate a new business plan alongside Penn. 

The center is hosting an event to meet the new owners on Sept.6 at 6 p.m. 

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