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Industry Retail
Fate absorbed into Borders Group in the U.S.; liquidated in the U.S.
Founded 1853 (1853)
Founder August Brentano
Headquarters Paris, France
Products Books, magazines, comic books, maps, calendars, paintings, stationery
Owner Farock Sharifi
This article is about the New York-based bookstore chain that was acquired by Waldenbooks and later by Border's. For unrelated but similarly named Chicago-based chain, see Kroch's and Brentano's.

Brentano's was an American bookstore and had numerous locations in the United States,.[citation needed]

As of the 1970s, there were three Brentano's in NY, the Fifth Avenue flagship store in Rockefeller Center, one in Greenwich Village, and one in White Plains. There was a store in the Bergen Mall (Paramus NJ) which closed as the Short Hills, NJ store was being built. There was a store in the Chestnut Hill area of Boston, another in Austin, Texas. There were also two stores in the Los Angeles, CA area; in Westwood Village and Beverly Hills. There was a store in the Seven Corners shopping center in Falls Church, Virginia, outside of Washington, DC.

Brentano's was owned by MacMillan in the 1970s and early 1980s, before being purchased by three of Brentano's higher ranking employees. Soon after, Brentano's became a part of the Waldenbooks subsidiary of Borders Group, Inc., an Ann Arbor, Michigan–based book and music retailer.

The Brentano's on Avenue de l'Opéra in Paris, at the same location since 1895, closed in 2009[1] but was bought and reopened in 2010 by Iranian businessman Farock Sharifi.[2]


Brentano's was founded as an independent bookstore in New York City in 1853 by August Brentano, who established a newsstand in front of the New York Hotel. From its headquarters at 586 Fifth Avenue, Brentano's became a publisher, with a specialization in French literature that led it to publish under the imprint "Éditions Brentano's" many titles by French writers in exile during the Vichy France period.

In 1985, Kmart's Waldenbooks subsidiary acquired Brentano's and nine years later, in 1994, Brentano's and its parent company Waldenbooks were merged into Kmart's other book subsidiary, Borders. Borders re-gained independence through a stock buyback in the mid-1990s to once again become an independent company known as Borders Group, Inc.; in 2011, Borders Group filed for bankruptcy and wound down operations, closing all remaining locations.

In popular culture[edit]

In the 1943 film Heaven Can Wait, Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche) met his future wife Martha Strable (Gene Tierney) in Brentano's.

Brentano's was featured in an episode of Mad About You. The episode featured Barbara Feldon playing a novelist in which her character was doing a book signing.

Brentano's was featured prominently in a few episodes of Seinfeld, most notably "The Bookstore", which aired on April 9, 1998.[3][citation needed]

Brentano's also appeared in the film Norman... Is That You?

Brentano's was mentioned in William Dean Howells' A Hazard of New Fortunes (chapter 10) and F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Babylon Revisited",[4] Tender Is the Night (chapter XX), and This Side of Paradise (chapter 2).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rosenberg, Susan; Alain Queval (15 June 2009). "Brentano's Paris To Finally Close". book2book/ (Harpenden, Hertfordshire). 
  2. ^ "Paris American bookshop to reopen". RFI. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ F. Scott Fitzgerald. Saturday Evening Post, 21 February 1931.

External links[edit]