Revamped Giovanni’s Room space to open next weekend


The new incarnation of Giovanni’s Room is set to open this weekend.

Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room will open its doors at 11 a.m. Sept. 12.

The opening comes about a year after Ed Hermance, co-founder and owner of Giovanni’s Room, the nation’s oldest LGBT bookstore, announced he was retiring and selling the building and business. Without a buyer, however, the store closed in May.

But, PAT announced last month that it signed a two-year lease to rent the space as an outpost of its successful flagship store on Fifth Street. PAT @ Giovanni’s Room will be a boutique, offering higher-end thrift items and about 2,000 LGBT-related books.

PAT donates proceeds from its sales to AIDS Fund, which supports HIV/AIDS organizations throughout the region. It has donated nearly $900,000 in its nine years in operation.

The opening announcement was made at AIDS Fund’s Gay BINGO! event last Saturday night. Starting Friday, the store will be open seven days a week: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

PAT co-founder Tom Brennan said shop renovations will be about 75-percent complete by Friday, and the rest of the changes — including the addition of murals in and outside the store — will take place in the coming weeks. The store will stage a grand-opening celebration Oct. 10-12, OutFest weekend.