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Down But Not Out: The Future of Uncle Hugo’s

Down But Not Out: The Future of Uncle Hugo’s

By CARZ NELSON Don Blyly might reopen the Uncles.  During the George Floyd uprising, twin retailers Uncle Hugo”™s Science Fiction and Uncle Edgar”™s Mystery Bookstores were burned to the ground. The loss of these neighborhood institutions was deeply felt. Hugo”™s is the oldest science fiction bookstore in the country; its importance to the science fiction community can”™t be overstated. The two stores, known collectively as the Uncles, routinely attracted customers from all over the Upper Midwest. Don Blyly (photo credit: Light Grey Podcast) Blyly started Uncle Hugo”™s in 1974; the original location was at Fourth and Franklin Avenues. The companion store, Edgar”™s, opened in 1980. The bookstores relocated to 2864 Chicago Avenue in 1984; they were fixtures in the Phillips neighborhood for 36 years. Deciding whether to reopen the stores won”™t be easy. At 70 years young, many assumed owner Don Blyly would retire from retail business after the fire. Such assumptions are premature, however. It takes a lot of drive to start over from nothing, but Blyly seems to be equal to whatever tasks he sets himself. Uncle Hugo”™s Science Fiction and Uncle Edgar”™sMystery Bookstores 2864 Chicago Ave. after theFire (photo by Uncle Hugo's Bookstore) He admits that he has a knack for bouncing back from adversity, “I've noticed that I seem to have more resilience than most other people and I've wondered why. Partly it is stubbornness. Partly it is because the more of a track record you have at overcoming previous difficulties, the more confidence you have of overcoming the latest difficulty.” Blyly says the city has a lot to answer for when it comes to the uprising, “Back in 2015 the Department of Justice made recommendations for reforming the Minneapolis Police, but the City Council has done nothing to implement those recommendations. The [...]

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