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Aardvark Books for sale again, asks $2.45 million

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After six months off the market, another bid for neighborhood favorite

The facade of Aardvark Books on Church Street. Photo courtesy of Jordan Geller

The good times never last.

In 2017, the sudden listing of 227 Church Street—longtime home of the Castro/Upper Market bookstore Aardvark Books, noted for its old school appeal and charming orange tabby cat—for $2.85 million seemed to signal the final chapter for a neighborhood mainstay.

Then, in January came a stay of execution: the listing expired without buyers, and Aardvark’s manager said the store would remain open “indefinitely.” All’s well that ends well.

Alas, that wasn’t the end. Six months later the doleful listing has returned, this time with more info about the history of the building:

“The property has previously been used as a print shop and originally as a movie theater. Behind the current Aardvark Books sign is a facade of steel-sash windows waiting to have its potential unveiled by a new owner.”

But the ad copy still promise that “the property will be delivered vacant,” which is grim news for bibliophiles.

SocketSite says that the present asking of $2.45 million is a price cut, but while that is less than what the building hoped for in September, the $400K reduction happened two months after landing on the market.

The potential loss of Aardvark seems particularly unfair, since neither sluggish sales nor an astronomical rent hike are doing the place in, as they do for most old favorite local businesses.

In fact, Aardvark Books owner John Hadreas also owns the building, buying the place for $300,000 in 1991, roughly $561,000 after inflation.