Antique book store on Broadway to close, Half Price Books could follow after owner sells buildings

Store has fronted Broadway for 53 years, will close in 2024

Half Price Books on Broadway ((San Antonio Business Journal))

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.

An antique book store that has fronted Broadway for 53 years will close in 2024.

Antiquarian Book Mart will close its doors in May, according to its owner Bob Kellel. The bookseller has sold the land at 3217 and 3207 Broadway as well as 3132 Avenue B to local developer Glenn Huddleston of Harper/Huddleston Inc., a deed filed with Bexar County shows. Those three plots hold the book store, the Half Price Books next door and the parking lot behind the buildings. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The three parcels have a combined assessed value of about $1.8 million, according to 2023 tax records.

A spokesperson for Half Price Books — which has operated the Broadway location since 1978 — told the Business Journal the company is currently in lease negotiations with Harper/Huddleston.

“However, if we are unable to work out a new lease, we will close the location sometime in the spring,” the spokesperson said.

The store was opened by Kellel’s parents in 1971. In an interview with the Business Journal, he said he’s ready to retire and spend more time with his family. But he knows it will be a loss for the city.

“Having a nice bookstore is always nice for the community because the people that frequent these places can enjoy reading and they can keep themselves entertained when they’re not with their friends or family, in a positive way.”

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He added that independent booksellers are a place to build community, noting the generations of families that have returned to his shop over decades.

“It’s a different feeling here,” he said. “When you walk into Half Price Books, nobody is going to bother you. But when you walk in here, you’ve got this eccentric bookseller behind the desk and you’re probably going to have to shoot the breeze.”

Harper/Huddleston did not return requests for comment by publication time.

Click here to read the full story in the San Antonio Business Journal.

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