Blyly Closes on Uncle Hugo’s New Building

2716 E. 31st Street, Minneapolis (The Google maps photo.)
Don Blyly

Don Blyly has closed on his new location for Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores. He told readers today in the “Not an April Fools edition” of his How’s Business newsletter that the 2716 E. 31st St. building is about two miles east of the former location. He may be able to open in June. Two years have passed since his bookstores were burned by vandals in 2020

His resources to buy the property, in addition to insurance and a Gofundme appeal, included a recently awarded grant from the Lake Street Council of Minneapolis.  

Lake Street Council was offering grants to businesses that were harmed by the 2020 riots, so I applied for the maximum amount I could qualify for.  They decided to give me a little over half of what I asked for, which was still a very useful amount of money.  I didn’t expect a decision on the grant request to be processed before the closing, but they pushed it through more rapidly than I expected and the money was available for the closing.  

Blyly has a long to-do list for the new premises.

Now I have to get a contractor to come in to sand, stain, and seal the wooden floors.  After the floors are finished, it will be time to start building, buying, and moving book shelves.  After the book shelves are positioned, some lights will need to be moved and all of them will be converted to LED.  After some of the book shelves are in place, all the books from my house and the storage locker can move to the store, get sorted, and some placed on the shelves and some moved to the basement (where I will need more shelves for the overstock used books).   

He also has a lot of work to do replenishing his inventory.

And somewhere along the line I’ll need to order new books for the store.  I’ve gone through the records for about 21,000 books that were listed in our computer from the old Uncles, figuring out which ones to re-order and how many of each.  But I haven’t yet started entering the titles that came out since May, 2020, and that will take quite a while.

There will be an almost-complete turnover among his employees. When the time comes Blyly will be looking for more help.

So far only one of the old Uncles employees has expressed an interest in getting her old job back.  A couple more have volunteered to help get the store ready to open, but don’t want to go back to dealing with customers once the Uncles are ready to open to the public again.  And I know a couple of others won’t be coming back.  So I will be looking for new employees who know science fiction, fantasy and/or mysteries before we open, but I’m not sure yet when we will be opening.    I hope sometime in June, but that depends on a lot of factors.

Meanwhile, to stay in touch, Blyly asks people to sign up for his mailing list rather than rely on Facebook, which may not be keeping his account online much longer (due to seemingly unfathomable problems that have flagged it as a “gray account”.)

We still don’t know whether or not Facebook will destroy the account on April 3.  If you have been using Facebook for updates on the Uncles, I urge you to go to UncleHugo.com and sign up for the Uncles Announcements mailing list ( http://www.unclehugo.com/prod/mailTo.shtml ) so that you can be sure of receiving future news announcements.

9 thoughts on “Blyly Closes on Uncle Hugo’s New Building

  1. Very good news! Sucks that rioters burned down a bookstore but fans cannot be stopped!

  2. Pingback: Amazing News From Fandom: 4/3/22 - Amazing Stories

  3. Pingback: Blyly Issues Progress Report on Uncle Hugo’s New Building | File 770

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