A familiar showcase returns to Westfield Old Orchard at Skokie: Barnes & Noble.
The bookstore originally resided on the grounds of the suburban mall for 27 years before closing in 2021 so the site could be redeveloped. News of its closure struck a chord with many buyers, according to the company.
“The closure of the old Barnes & Noble last year nearly broke our email inbox as customers wrote in to express their dismay,” Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt said in a statement. . “So it’s especially nice to be reopening at Old Orchard. We do this with a truly magnificent store. I think Chicago book lovers will be surprised and thrilled at how beautiful it is to start a new bookstore.
The renovated two-story bookstore will span over 20,000 square feet at a different location, 4999 Old Orchard Ctr. The first floor will house Paper Source, a Chicago-based stationery and gift retailer.
Barnes & Noble is set to officially reopen at 10 a.m. Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event will be joined by New York Times bestselling author Sara Paretsky, who will also participate in a book signing.
In addition to welcoming the bookstore again, the shopping center has expanded its offer with several other openings.
Luxury brand Louis Vuitton moved in Nov. 10, and Bloomie’s, a smaller version of the Bloomingdale’s department store that once anchored the mall, will debut Nov. 17. Other newcomers including Capital Grille, Levi’s, Molly’s Cupcakes, Bar Siena and Psycho Bunny are also slated for openings.
Throughout the season, the mall will host a “Santa Trolley Experience” and other holiday events.