Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse owes $184,000 in state sales taxes from the past four years and has more than $500,000 in total debts owed, according to court documents filed in U.S. bankruptcy court. The store listed more than $78,000 in total assets, records show.
Outwrite owner Philip Rafshoon announced Jan. 26 the independent LGBT bookstore was closing permanently. Founded in 1993 and located at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue for the past 15 years, Outwrite was an iconic Midtown landmark. The bankruptcy filing was made early Thursday morning, about the same time a press release went out stating the store would not relocate as previously said.
Rafshoon announced in November that Outwrite would have to move because its rent was too high. He told the public that the plan was to find a location with cheaper rent and even started a campaign soliciting donations for moving costs, launched with a $1,000 donation from the Lloyd E. Russell Foundation. The store held a “Last Tango” event on Tuesday with numerous author readings.
Outwrite owes more than $500,000 to creditors, bankruptcy filing shows
In an interview Jan 26 at the store, Rafshoon mentioned if Outwrite raised “a half million” it likely would have been saved.
Rafshoon paid a $1,000 fee to Atlanta bankruptcy attorney Keith Eady on Oct. 13 and another fee of $6,694 to Eady on Nov. 30, as well as a $306 court cost fee.
According to the bankruptcy filing, Outwrite owes $39,773 in unpaid rent to Jodaco Inc., the owner of the property. Outwrite is disputing the claim. On Jan. 10, Jodaco filed a lawsuit of eviction in Fulton State Court.
The store had $298.54 in its checking count as of Jan. 26, according to the filing.
The filing listed Outwrite’s remaining assets as its website domain name, www.outwritebooks.com, valued at $20,000; some $3,000 in office equipment; $2,000 in business fixtures and supplies; and $47,000 in inventory, including $30,000 in books.
Outwrite states in the documents that it lost $43,207 in 2009, lost $98,571 in 2010, lost $10,000 in 2011 but made a $5,000 profit in 2012.
Bankruptcy documents lists Outwrite employees as owed $0, and lists multiple other creditors in a variety of amounts, including $690 owed to GA Voice for advertising.
Outwrite also owes taxes to the city of Atlanta totaling $1,763.16 and to Fulton County totaling $3,000.