Green Apple Book opens new inner Sunset location today

Inside the new Green Apple Books at 1231 9th Avenue

Since opening on Clement Street in 1967, Green Apple Books has grown to 10 times the size of its original location, moving into neighboring storefronts as its inventory expanded.

But today, a new chapter begins for the San Francisco landmark as it opens a new location in a completely different neighborhood at 1231 9th Avenue in the Inner Sunset.

The story of how it happened is part business and part good neighbor. In March, Le Video, a video rental store, was struggling in the 9th Avenue space. After years in business, the store was barely making rent and struggling to compete with today’s culture of on-demand digital movies and television shows.

In April, Green Apple announced that they would be taking over half of the space as a co-tenant with Le Video. Green Apple opens today in the bottom floor of the building, and Le Video will maintain their business upstairs.

In addition to getting some help with the rent each month, Le Video also raised $60,000 via an Indiegogo campaign which should help it recover and stay solvent. “THANK YOU FOR SAVING LE VIDEO! We are looking forward to our future with you!” it says on their website.

Though this second Green Apple – Books on the Park location will only be one third of the size of the Clement Street store, it’s a welcome addition to the inner Sunset neighborhood which has not had a bookstore in several years.

Stephen Sparks, the general manager of the new 9th Avenue Green Apple says “we’re thinking of this space as more open and showroom-y where we’ll be able to have great events.” Like the upcoming Colorless Tsukuru Midnight Party on August 11 to celebrate the release of Haruki Murakami’s latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Sparks says they’re also planning to carve out a niche for nature books, local interest, and good literary fiction.

The new Green Apple Books in the inner Sunset is open daily from 10am until 10pm. This weekend they’ll be celebrating their grand opening by giving away $25 gift cards every hour from 12noon to 8pm on Friday, and possibly Saturday and Sunday.

Normally we’d say “welcome to the neighborhood” when we write about new businesses here on the blog, but in this case, we’ll say “way to go!”. And to our Sunset readers, be sure to drop by and welcome them to YOUR neighborhood. 🙂

Sarah B.

P.S. – Someone tell actor Paul Giamatti. He was spotted at the Clement Street store last night so I’m sure he’d want to see the new location too while he’s in town.


  1. I, for one, welcome our new book-selling neighbors! This is great news for everyone!!

  2. Yay for indie books and videos! Can’t wait to check it out.

  3. Wonder if the new location have a cat like ‘Louie’ that used to live at the Green Apple annex?

  4. Wonderful. Two for One! Not far fro the Arizmendi Bakery, just up the street. Yum!

  5. I think this is great too, but can I just say, I always try to patronize Green Apple, I went there twice in the last couple months and both times I had terrible blow off service like I couldn’t believe. I realize that is par for the course in SF but still, how many bookstores are left, I kind of couldn’t believe it, at what point in the New Great Depression does basic customer service make a comeback? First I was trying to find a horror nerd mag I have seen them carry. Guy got on the computer and said yeah they carry it and sold a bunch of copies this year, blah blah, Hmm how extraordinary your data sharing thanks, then he tells me I should talk to so-and-so their magazine man if I see him. huh? OK bro. thanks for nothing. Next I was trying to buy Infinite Jest, widely regarded as like the top English book of the past quarter century, they didn’t have any used copies so I go to the main store asking, the guy is like We should have that of course. OK? Look over up on the stairs he tells me. OK. I don’t see it. Looking around no luck. whatever. Christ next time I will just go on Amazon like always, right? My wife knows the owners too, I am not trying to talk shit, it’s a great store great to still have it in 2014, but come on. COME ON. They took $60K free donated money just to stay in business they should try a little harder to differentiate on customer service for people who are still bothering to physically go to their (impossible parking neighborhood) bookstores

  6. @debbie_downer – The $60k you refer to was raised by LE VIDEO, not Green Apple. It has nothing to do with Green Apple’s business.

  7. @DEBBIE_DOWNER Please realize that the staff at a new-used bookstore like Green Apple have NO way of knowing what is in stock at all times or exactly where it is because stock turns so often.

    Shopping at Green Apple is an adventure. I don’t think you should diss Green Apple because you didn’t get what you wanted. Your criticism comes off like a Yelp amateur who has a bad experience and generalizes from that to trash the whole business. Not cool!

  8. @Phil – Please watch your criticisms of other commenters. Debbie_Downer is free to express his/her opinion, and you are free to respond to it but there is no need to be rude about it.

    Sarah B.

  9. @sarah b. – With due respect, what is rude about pointing our that it’s not cool to diss an entire small business – including the integrity of the ownership of that business (whom I have absolutely no connection to) – simply because of one person’s experience? I didn’t call her a name; I didn’t impugn her integrity.

    Debbie-Downer is free to express his/her opinion, yes! Seriously, s/he slammed an entire small business! It’s cringe-worthy Yelp-like comments from people *who do not understand the business* that cost small businesses money. I maintain that that is not cool, and that it was, in fact, rude of Debbie-Downer to make exaggerated (and erroneous!) claims about Green Apple.

  10. I have to agree with Debbie about the service at Green Apple, although for me, this has been going on for a few decades, not just the last few months. The first thing I said to a friend when he told me that Green Apple was opening in the Sunset was; “well I hope they treat their customers better than they do at the Clement St. store!”.
    The staff,with perhaps one exception, is imperious, snobby, and sometimes outright mean. I have seen a staff person literally run people over with the large book wagons that are placed outside, trapping clientele in the aisles, running over toes! All members of my family have been treated rudely at one time or another, and I’m talking for like…the last 40 years or so. I love the space and the product. I am not nitpicky about the staff knowing their product. However, I do expect a smidgen of customer service when I go in there, and they act like they could care less. And the Annex is a joke.I can’t even get my husband to go in there anymore because of the staff. So maybe there will be less hipster douchebaggy activity on the Sunset side. Bruno and Edsel Fong are long dead, so I am hoping that the culture of paying someone to be mean to you is passing.

  11. Although Debbie downer seems a bit unstable in their comment, I have to agree with her and snucku. Green Apple is generally lacking at times in customer service. Although I have not been to their new location yet, my wife and I have had more than a few uncomfortable interactions with staff at their Clement Street location. We will never forget receiving guff from an employee because we rudely interrupted their reading session with a question. To be fair though, most book stores have bad service.

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