The Barnes & Noble bookstore that has been a focal point of Bethesda, Maryland, for the past 21 years closes on Thursday.
Locals said they would miss the bookstore and cafe where they flipped through books, lingered over coffee and met friends before movies at the theater across the street.
"It's kind of a lynchpin for this area," Kathy Butler said.
"It's sad," said Leigh Buntain, who often went there with children from whom she is a nanny.
When it's sunny, the sidewalk in front of Barnes & Noble is the place to be, resident Howard Lerner said.
"It's jammed, it's crowded, it's active. People are moving back and forth. Sounds, noises, musicians," he said.
Barnes & Noble said the store is closing because the company could not reach an agreement with the property owner on a new lease.
Anthropologie, which sells women's clothing and home decor, will open a store in the building, which has more than 37,000 square feet of space.
Amazon Books will open a store nearby.
Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer said he expects Metro's Purple Line to restore some of what may vanish without the Barnes & Noble.
"We're going to build a fantastic town square for Bethesda, which will give people a lot of what they had at Barnes & Noble," he said.