Despite closing its doors in March, the Iron Rail Book Collective in the Faubourg Marigny's A.R.K. building maintained its Uptown satellite in Hey! Cafe and its presence at shows and community events — tables stacked with vinyl records, literature and 'zines.
Tomorrow, Iron Rail opens its "boutique" next to GNOME in the French Quarter (at 503 Barracks St., by Barracks and Decatur streets). The grand opening is 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Proceeds from the boutique will go towards reopening a new lending library and bookstore.
The nonprofit bookstore was founded in 2003, and its A.R.K. location housed a lending library with thousands of titles as well as records and 'zines, an alternative to independent bookstores and libraries in the city. It also was the first library to reopen after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. Julian Mutter (of the Mutter family, which owns Doerr Furniture) purchased 511 Marigny St. in 1995, and in March, both parties agreed the Iron Rail would voluntarily leave the building, after New Orleans Police Department officers from the 5th District advised to close the building for alleged permit violations. (Read more on that closure in Gambit.)