Revolutionary Grounds

Paul Gattone, right, and his wife Joy Soler enjoy each other's company in Revolutionary Grounds book store on Fourth Avenue. The openly leftist bookstore and coffeehouse opened in November, 2008.

Revolutionary Grounds Books & Coffee, the left-leaning quirky coffee shop and bookstore that's been a fixture on North Fourth Avenue for nearly a decade, is closing at the end of business Saturday, June 16.

The husband-wife owners Paul Gattone and Joy Soler were notified by their landlord in early June that they would have to be out by month's end, according to a notice on the shop's Facebook page.

In a series of Facebook postings, the couple said the landlord, who Soler identified as Andrew Fried, wanted "more rent. Lots more rent."

"If we had stayed until the first of July, we would have had to pay $850," Soler said, noting that the couple has never had a lease for the small street-front space at 606 N. Fourth. They have operated on a month-to-month basis since opening in November 2008, when they paid $650 a month. The rent in June was $750 and jumping $100 in one month was too much, she said.

The landlord could not be reached to comment Thursday.

In a video posted on social media Sunday, Soler said the avenue was being gentrified with developers planning to build "high-rise condos" and "fancy retail spaces."

Soler said she and her husband plan to relocate the business, which had been a safe place and gathering spot for the LGBTQ community and other groups even before Solar and Gattone opened Revolutionary Grounds. The couple will host a farewell party Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. for longtime supporters.

"The space has meant a lot to a lot of people and we want to celebrate that," she said.

Soler said the couple has not settled on a new location, but they launched a $40,000 Gofundme crowdsourcing campaign Tuesday to raise money for the move.

"I love doing what I do," Soler said. "I quit a career in social work to open Revolutionary Grounds, so I'm going to keep doing it, somewhere."

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch