DENVER — The Bookies sits in a little shopping center off Colorado Boulevard and Mississippi Avenue. It's nothing extravagant from the outside, but it comes to life once you walk through the door.
Fifty years ago, Sue Lubeck decided the children of Denver needed a magical bookstore. She filled her basement with books and opened her doors. Eventually, she expanded and The Bookies was born.
"People just love being here," said Dona Chilcoat. "We all love being here."
She's been working part-time at the store for 18 years.
The store is mainly made up of retirees, many of them former teachers.
"We don’t make a lot of money," Chilcoat said with a smile. "It probably goes without saying. I love working with smart, caring people who want to do things right."
The Bookies is celebrating 50 years of business without the person who started it all. Lubeck passed away in July.
"We were devastated," said Chilcoat. "There is no other word for it."
Lubeck left a mark on loyal customers who grew to love her so much.
"We should all be so lucky to leave such a legacy," said customer Amelia Dorn. "It’s so cool that she started in her basement and built this."
The Bookies is up for sale now, with the hope whoever buys it will keep it the way it is.
"I just think it’s so important that we keep businesses like this alive," Dorn said. "I know Sue would really want that."
If you want to help celebrate The Bookies 50-year anniversary and help remember Lubeck, head over to the store on Saturday, Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.