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Old 05-30-2020, 01:50 PM   #1
Tarana
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Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore is gone

Not sure where to post this as it isn’t specifically about ebooks. Science fiction and fantasy bookstore, Uncle Hugo’s was burned down last night during riots in Minneapolis. It is believed that it is a white supremacy group that is responsible. Uncle Edgar’s bookstore, selling only mystery, suspense and thrillers and housed within Uncle Hugo’s, is also gone.

I’ve recommended Uncle Hugo’s often and I believe it was the only bookstore in US that specialized in science fiction and fantasy.

Their insurance doesn’t cover riots, and chances are that the store will not reopen.

Last edited by Tarana; 05-30-2020 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:55 PM   #2
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Sadly, a lot of the businesses burned out won't reopen.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:02 PM   #3
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A friend of mine has a cousin who owns a sound tech store there. The damage and looting wiped the store out...she put some pictures on Facebook.

So very sad.
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Old 05-30-2020, 11:19 PM   #4
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Here's the note Don had posted to his website. He's still looking into the insurance thing before making any decisions about other means (such as Go Fund Me).

Quote:
UNCLE HUGO'S AND UNCLE EDGAR'S FOULLY SLAIN!

May 30, 2020
Hello loyal Uncles fans,

The photo above was taken this morning. 2864 Chicago Ave as viewed from the sidewalk across the street.

Elizabeth here to give you a quick update. The Twin Cities are facing arson, rioting, and vandalism. Per the local authorities, as of this morning, virtually all of the people arrested for these crimes are from out of state. Eyewitness accounts and livestreams report fires being set by young white men.

I spoke with Don this afternoon. He appreciates the outpouring of support he has received from around the globe. He is currently considering various options, but will need some time to process this tragedy and loss before he is ready to make decisions. Please respect that. Watch the store Facebook page for news.

Below is the text of the message Don sent to employees earlier today.

Hi Folks,

There was a call from the security company around 3:30 this morning that the motion detector was showing somebody in the building. I threw on clothes and headed over there. When I was 2 blocks away I received a call that the smoke detectors were showing smoke in the store. Every single building on both sides of Chicago was blazing and dozens of people dancing around.

As I pulled into the dentist's lot I could see that flames were leaping out the front windows of the Uncles. It looked to me like they had broken every window on the front of the Uncles and then squirted accelerant through each broken window. It looked hopeless to me, but I went around to the back door to see if I could get to a fire extinguisher. As soon as I opened the back door a wave of very thick black smoke poured out, so I quickly closed the door again.

The dentist's building was not showing any flames and the garage door was open, so I went in to see if I could save it. There is a door from the garage into a break room, and there was almost no smoke in the break room. There is a second door from the break room into the main clinic. When I opened that door I couldn't see a fire, but the smoke came pouring into the break room, so I quickly closed that door and headed back to the car.

Some of the rioters were busy breaking every pane of glass in the transit hub. The former Sheraton did not seem to be on fire yet, and there were guests who were staying there. It looked like somebody may have broken a window on the first floor along Chicago and started a fire, but it could have just been a reflection of the flames from the Uncles.

I didn't notice anything going on yet at the Global Marketplace, but the rioters were headed in that direction. There is no way a mere fire could bring that building down, but it could wipe out all of those businesses, and there are hundreds of people who live above the Global Marketplace who could be trapped by the smoke.

Since Chicago Ave. was full of dancing rioters, broken glass, and flaming debris, I went down the alley and took Lake St. home. There were blocks of Lake St. where every building was blazing. No sign of any cops, national guard troops, or any help.

I'm pretty sure the insurance policy excludes damage from a civil insurrection, so I suspect I won't get a cent for either the building or the contents.

Best,
Don Blyly
A photo can be found here...
https://twitter.com/CubeApril/status...004928/photo/1
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarana View Post

I’ve recommended Uncle Hugo’s often and I believe it was the only bookstore in US that specialized in science fiction and fantasy.
So sad. However, I don't believe it was the only SF/F bookstore. For starters, there is also DreamHaven, also in Minneapolis. It was damaged this weekend, but they think that 95% of the stuff is fine. (Or course, "this weekend" isn't over yet; that was just the news from the first night.)
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Old 06-12-2020, 03:05 PM   #6
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I was so sad to hear this news. I had just done a piece on it for a reading challenge weeks before - Both uncle Hugos and Edgar's Mystery bookstore, both admirable bookstores, are gone due to riots. Such a huge, senseless loss.
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Old 06-13-2020, 09:06 PM   #7
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Updates are being posted on the store site...
http://www.unclehugo.com/prod/index.shtml

Looks like the stores GoFundMe is up to $135K so far.

Newest update from the GoFundMe page...
Quote:
Hi all,

Don met with an independent insurance adjuster yesterday. It looks like he should be paid for approximately 90% of the wholesale value of the inventory within 30 days, but the building is a bit more complicated. He's still not sure if he's going to try to rebuild on the same site, buy or rent a different building and relocate, or switch to a mail-order business from his home. The adjuster will have to get back to him with more numbers regarding how much of the rebuild cost will be covered, and he'll need to crunch more numbers on how much a rebuild would cost with some upgrades he had in mind (rooftop solar panels, higher ceilings in the basement, larger basement, etc.) before he'll be able to decide which route he'll be going.

Within the next 7-10 days, he will be set up to run mail-orders from home and will start selling Uncle Hugo's / Uncle Edgar's T-shirts and sweatshirts that were on-order before the fire and arrived at his house earlier this week.
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Old 06-20-2020, 06:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for the updates. After seeing his picture, I remember meeting Greg from Dreamhaven! Hopefully both stores will be back in business.
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