AUSTIN, Texas - Another staple of South Congress is closing its doors, but there's a silver lining.
South Congress Books will be closing its original location on Sunday, Jan. 8 and moving to a new location later this spring.
The bookstore says that they're moving because they've been priced out of South Congress, a location they've held since 2011. According to the owners, the rent has more than tripled.
"It's the story of the city, I think, which is unfortunate," Nicole Leconte with South Congress Books said about all the changes on South Congress. "It's hard to see the things that you loved originally go away. I think there's mixed feelings on that, it's out of my control, it's out of our control, we just flow with the times, but of course there is a sense of something lost."
Eugenia Vela visited the bookstore on the last day. She says she used to live in the neighborhood but moved away a couple of years ago. "When I found out the place was closing, I felt kind of guilty, like I'm part of the problem because I stopped coming, so I thought I'd come one last time before they move locations," she said.
"Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds, they're these sort of iconic places that made South Congress what it is and the reason that people come, that aren't able to stay here anymore," Leconte said. "It's just been sort of a snowball where there was a little change, and it just kept going and going, and it's very different now than it was before."
South Congress Books will be closing its original location on Sunday, Jan. 8. (South Congress Books)
- South Congress businesses moving to make way for development
- Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds to close after 38 years in business
- Tesoros Trading Company closing its doors after more than 3 decades
- Austin's Malvern Books set to close its doors on Dec. 31
- Uncommon Objects moving to new location
"It's like one more place that can't afford to stay on South Congress," Vela said with a sigh. "It is crazy to see a neighborhood that was known for its quirks and its independent local businesses, more and more are having to close."
Both Leconte and Vela say they don't want people to forget about the local businesses still on South Congress. "I really care about preserving the places that make our city special. It's just kind of surreal to see like, Hermes and Nike down the street," Vela said.
"Continue supporting the shops that are still here, that are still local, as international chains move their way up the street, there are some people who are still fighting it out on South Congress, but also expand. Bring people to other historic and iconic places like Kerbey Lane," Leconte said. "Please come visit us. We are really quite excited about our new location."
Their new location at 3703 Kerbey Lane will open in March, across the street from the iconic Kerbey Lane Cafe. The bookstore described the new location as a "vintage bungalow" that is "cozy, charming and even has a yard".
While the new location is in progress, South Congress Books says it will have a "small outpost" at Uncommon Objects at 1602 Fortview Road.
South Congress Books is now the third longtime South Congress business to close in the last year.
Tesoros Trading Company closed its doors on South Congress after 15 years in June, deciding to focus more on wholesale, online sales and selling to other shops or museum shops. Nearby Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds closed in December after almost 40 years in business.