Mint chocolate chip with a scoop of Michael Chabon on the side, anyone?
“What’s not to love about ice cream and books?” asks Robert Fader, vice president of Posman Books, which is coming to the Strip District. “We have always tried to be a nontraditional bookstore. A traditional bookstore would have coffee. I thought ice cream was a lot more fun.”
Posman Books has signed a lease for a 3,243-square-foot space in The Terminal, the massive Strip District landmark on Smallman Street. The five-block-long building was once the central hub of the Strip’s produce wholesale market. It has been transformed into a 160,000-square-foot mixed-use development by McCaffery. Other tenants opening or on the way include District Brew Yards, City Grows, Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection, and OnPar Now.
Posman’s partner, New York-based Oddfellows Ice Cream Co., specializes in offbeat flavors, such as Apple Cider Donut, Cinnamon Dulce de Leche, Lemon Shortbread Thyme and Mandarin Jasmine Brûlée. There will be a full counter and a seating area.
The New York-based bookstore has a flagship location in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, and several locations in Atlanta. The company just opened a location on Boston’s ritzy Newbury Street. Posman Books was named after its founder, Gene Posman, who founded it 60 years ago as an undergraduate at New York University. It was a college bookstore that has since evolved into a general interest shop.
“I believe that the core of a good bookstore is a top-notch literature section and an excellent children’s book section,” says Fader. “I think we’ve got both of those.”
There will also be an ample supply of new releases, but the classics will always be featured at Posman. You won’t have to look hard to find Dostoevsky or “Moby-Dick.”
The bookseller likes Pittsburgh because of its universities and growing tech scene; Posman has a strong relationship with Google, the shop’s landlord in Manhattan.
“Pittsburgh, you know, has Facebook and Uber and is at the forefront of self-driving cars — a lot of interesting future innovations,” says Fader. “And we’re interested in being in that kind of environment.”
Posman also sells puzzles and letterpress cards, including some that are made in Bloomfield.
“Sapling Press are friends of ours and we will certainly be featuring them and lovely cards,” says Fader.
Fader hopes to open the store in The Terminal by the fourth quarter of this year.
The last bookseller in the Strip, Bradley’s Book Outlet, closed in 2019. The Strip District is also home to Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor, the city’s most iconic ice cream shop, which was founded in 1923.
Update: After this story was written (last Friday, then published Monday morning), social media lit up when the beloved Bloomfield independent bookseller The White Whale Bookstore said that it was originally approached by McCaffery to open in the Terminal space. White Whale says lease terms had been settled, McCaffery confirmed that they were not in negotiation with any other bookstore, and a Letter of Intent had been signed. White Whale’s story can be read here. The White Whale Bookstore is one of NEXTpittsburgh’s 6 Indie Bookstores You’ll Love.