McNally Jackson coming to Seaport — with drinks

That rare and fantastical creature — the independent bookstore — is coming to the Seaport as soon as August 1, and with a twist. Sarah McNally, whose eponymous store with a cult following opened in Nolita (52 Prince) in 2004, has taken the former Ann Taylor space and ripped out yards of laminate, creating what is bound to be a gorgeous shop. (She says it will be even prettier than the photo above when finished, but I can’t imagine a better sight than that raw brick arch and exposed wood beams.) “It has a water view and it will be a beautiful space,” McNally said. The store — 4 Fulton — is 7,500 square feet in total. It will also have a cafe serving beer and wine, approved this week by CB1 with glee.

A Williamsburg store opened last year, a downtown Brooklyn location at City Point is in the works, and she also has McNally Jackson at The Shed — a curated collection of books supporting the work of the new cultural space at Hudson Yards. The main store has a cafe that offers local baked goods and beverages, but the Seaport iteration will be the first to offer hard drinks. The cafe area will be 500 square feet. (By way of background, McNally’s parents own McNally Robinson, Canada’s largest bookseller with three massive stores in Winnipeg and Saskatoon. The Nolita store was originally part of their small chain, but then branched off a year later.)

McNally stirred up a lot of press when she announced she would be closing the Prince Street store last October, but then decided to stay put despite skyrocketing rents. She still might move out: “Nolita has become kind of bonkers,” she said about the crowds. And the street traffic has not increased revenue. “It was a cute little village when we moved in and now it is just really busy.” More TK in August, and if you need a McJax fix right now, this from Vulture, this from The Cut and this from the fashion section of The Times.



  1. I do hope the date actually is August 1, which is Herman Melville’s birthday; for as everyone knows, literature and seaport are wedded forever (to paraphrase Ch. 1, “Loomings,” of Moby-Dick).

  2. Note when the article says “has a cult following” it means “every literate reader in greater New York City plus all the writers that live anywhere near a ferry terminal have been dying for this to open.” — just to clarify.