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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Owner of Lincoln Square’s Book Cellar ‘Grateful And Humbled And Astounded’ As Customers Give Over $40,000

Without in-store events, contributions are helping to keep the local favorite afloat.

The Book Cellar opened in the heart of Lincoln Square in 2004.
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LINCOLN SQUARE — Fans of Lincoln Square’s Book Cellar have donated more than $40,000 in three days to support the business during the stay-at-home order.

Owner Suzy Takacs closed the cafe and book store at 4736 N. Lincoln Ave. to the public in March. Customers can still order from the business’s website and have books delivered to their homes. But Takacs said the in-store events are the primary source of revenue, so the proceeds from selling books online isn’t enough to cover the losses caused by the shutdown.

She launched a GoFundMe Saturday, raising $40,325 of its $50,000 goal from 685 donors.

“I’m super grateful and humbled and astounded by the outpouring of support we’ve gotten so far, never in a million years I thought that would happen,” Takacs said. 

The Book Cellar opened in the heart of Lincoln Square in 2004. It regularly hosts events such as story time for parents with strollers, Harry Potter parties, author book launches and signings, spelling bees, book club meetings, Witty Women Writers, and the neighborhood Wine Stroll and Halloween Happenings.

“Even once we get to the point where we can safely open to the public, we’re not sure when we’ll be able to do those big events again,” Takacs said. “I need the GoFundMe money to tide us over until we can host those events again.”

Takacs also applied for multiple business loans and grants but hasn’t found out if she’ll receive any funding. She said she is heartened by the number of people who have reached out asking how to support the beloved book store and cafe.

“Before I decided to go the GoFundMe route, I had a huge number of web orders and phone calls from people asking how they could help,” Takacs said. “One customer helped me get the link to the GoFundMe on our website while another offered to deliver books. I’m just overwhelmed with the amount of help people have offered during this time.”

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