With an assist from the gang at beloved local pizzeria Norbert’s, the entrepreneur responsible for shuttered Silent Barn vintage joint Bad Seeds has opened a new spot next door to the slice shop, curating its offerings to make it feel like a cool grandmother’s home.
Called Bookkeepers (the shop is a Liberty Income Tax location during tax season), the newest addition to 4 Stuyvesant Avenue just off of Broadway is first and foremost a bookstore, but the cozy place also sells vintage clothing, records, coffee, and within the week plans to offer a small menu of vegetarian food.
Bookkeepers Owner Stonie Clark has run a vintage shop before, but she also dreamed of opening a vegetarian eatery ever since she contributed ideas to the menu of Athens, Georgia vegetarian cafe White Tiger while she was living in that city after completing her masters in cultural anthropology.
Another key part of the Bookkeepers concept is that it’s a place to sit and relax, “so that Norbert’s customers could have somewhere to sit and eat,” explained a Norbert’s employee.
The diversified business is technically as a pop up, since 4 Stuyvesant Avenue hosts Liberty Income Tax in the months preceding Tax Day. Norbert’s employees had long imagined making use of the space in the off season.
The owners are running the spot with a relaxed mentality that romanticizes and appreciates the little things in life. The mostly wooden second hand furniture makes the interior feel comfortable and low key, an oasis next to the bustling Myrtle Ave Broadway JMZ station above. “There is going to be a siesta from 3-5 PM every day,” said Stonie, smiling.
They also plan on having garage sales out front, and are devoted to keeping their prices as low as possible. “All our prices are working class prices,” explains one of the workers. With a small cup of Porto Rico coffee priced at $1.50, paperbacks for $3 a pop, hardcovers for under $10, and vintage duds in the $5-$25 price range, it’s fair to say that Bookkeepers is one of the more affordable spots to hang out in Bushwick. With regular hours from 8AM-8PM (don’t forget that 3-5PM siesta), there is plenty time to check it out.
The book selection reflects the owners’ tastes (the beginning of the growing selection was sourced from the team’s personal libraries): offerings include the classics, social theory and feminist writings. Clark curates the vintage clothing (circa 1990s or earlier) from all over the city, as well as on periodic trips to Georgia and Florida (her home state). To compliment its buying model, Bookkeepers will also buy books, vintage clothes, and records from the community.
So grab a slice, get lost in a book, slip into something snazzy, check the record collection, and get coffee: all options are excellent ways to spend your afternoon. Go enjoy it, Bushwick!