Barnes and Noble is Returning to Walnut Creek

Bookseller Barnes and Noble used to grace downtown Walnut Creek, California with a massive two-level bookstore on Main Street. The Walnut Creek Barnes and Noble served as a focal point of the town and a major meeting and hangout spot with residents. Its second-floor cafe was a popular location to grab a coffee and sit with a book. 

Sadly, Walnut Creek’s Barnes and Noble closed in  2016. Now, though, there’s exciting news. Barnes and Noble is officially returning to Walnut Creek in 2022, with a brand new location in the city’s downtown area.

The reasons for the closure of the original Walnut Creek Barnes and Noble aren’t entirely clear. The store was massive, and although it was popular, the renovation of the Broadway Plaza shopping center likely drove up rent prices in the previously-sleepy East Bay town to levels that were unsustainable for a bookseller with a lot of retail space. When the original Barnes and Noble closed, it was later replaced by an Anthropologie.

BN Is Back

Now, though, times have changed, commercial space rents may have decreased a bit amid the pandemic, and Barnes and Noble is coming back. The new Barnes and Noble will be located at Plaza Escuela, by Ruth’s Chris steakhouse and the Cheesecake Factory. The location is about two blocks from the store’s original downtown location. It formerly housed a Men’s Wearhouse store.

On a recent visit, the Bay Area Telegraph observed that large signs had been placed in the windows of the future Barnes and Noble with text announcing the upcoming launch. The signs stated that the launch is expected in Summer of 2022. A side door was marked Deliveries, implying that construction may already be underway on the interior of the new store.

The nearest Barnes and Noble to Walnut Creek at the moment is the store in Concord, at the Veranda.

The nearest Barnes and Noble is in Concord

This store has a more modern design than legacy stores like the Barnes and Noble in Dublin, California, which has remained open for longer. It’s unclear what design style the new Walnut Creek store will employ.

Stay tuned here at the Bay Are Telegraph for updates on the new Barnes and Noble.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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