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Semicolon Bookstore Debuts Loop Pop-Up Hotel For Black History Month

The pop-up inside The Kimpton Gray Hotel will be open through the end of the month featuring all women authors of color.

Narrative, a Semicolon popup, will be open at The Kimpton Gray Hotel Downtown through the end of the month.
Danielle Mullen
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THE LOOP — Black-women-owned Semicolon is hosting a popup bookstore in honor of Black History Month.

The pop-up opens noon Saturday inside The Kimpton Gray, 122 W. Monroe St., and goes throughout February.

“Narrative: A Semicolon Concept at The Gray,” features gray-colored surroundings with splashes of colorful books floating around a bed. Guests are invited to view books written exclusively by women of color, according to a news release.

The grand opening Saturday will feature monogrammed composition notebooks for the first 100 guests, champagne, cookies and a giveaway for room vouchers at The Kimpton Gray.

“When you walk in you get how life feels on a normal basis and it’s black and white like the inside of a book. As you move through the space, you enter what is more of a dreamlike space that represents the work of women of color,” Semicolon owner Danielle Mullen said.

Credit: Danielle Mullen
The popup by Semicolon also features advice from various women to their 12-year-old selves on the walls.

The concept is made to make visitor’s feel like they are in a “literal dream,” Mullen said.

“I wanted to do that to just remind people that we are what our dreams are made of,” Mullen said.

Narrative will feature books from authors like Audre Lorde and Jessamine Chan. All profits from the popup will go directly towards Parenthesis, Semicolon’s 501c3 nonprofit.

Mullen hopes bringing Semicolon to the financial district will bring normalize something others might see as innovative.

“… And we’re hoping we can make some new friends,” Mullen said.

Semicolon, which opened in 2019, is a community staple in River West, showcasing authors of color and work by local street artists. The shop hosted its inaugural ‘Lit Fest’ in 2022, featuring author talks, live music, craft vendors and food trucks.

After more than a year in Wicker Park, Semicolon moved back to its original River West location in late 2022.

The bookstore was also recently featured as one of the “20 coolest bookstores in the world” by

The Narrative pop-up is open 12-6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Guests can also donate new and gently used books.

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