The shelves at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse are starting to look a little bare as the iconic bookstore sells down its inventory as it celebrates its 18th anniversary in the face of a prospective move.
On the corner of Piedmont Street and 10th Avenue, Outwrite has become the unofficial center of gay Atlanta. It started its life as a vacant nightclub and turned into one of Atlanta’s few remaining independent booksellers. In November, store owner Philip Rafshoon announced that Outwrite can no longer afford its lease and is looking to move.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet milestone tonight because we’ve got to kinda find a new home, but 18 years tonight, well sorta tonight, we had our opening party,” Rafshoon told the crowd on Saturday.
“What I said that night is that there will be a time that we won’t need a gay and lesbian bookstore. When people can come to their parents, where they won’t be persecuted in churches, schools, there won’t be any issues in their families. Right now there are a lot of people who think that we are at that point. In fact, we had some good friends who ran a book store and they said mission accomplished… our mission is not accomplished in any shape way or form. There is still a lot of work to be done.”