Dolly Makoff, the founder of Dolly’s Bookstore, dies at 93

PARK CITY, Utah — Dolly Makoff grew up in the Salt Lake Valley and attended the University of Utah. In 1972, she founded Dolly’s Bookstore. She loved animals, and from the beginning, she brought her dog to the bookstore. As she recalled in a post in 2020 regarding The Cozy, a local bar, “I opened Dolly’s next door in 1973. My dog would go out for a while at five each day. I didn’t know until after the dog died that he went to the Cozy for cocktail time each day. Although none of the miners came in my store until they missed the dog. One came in to inquire about the missing dog and told me of his daily visits.”

Dolly’s Bookstore with its new main entrance off Main Street. Photo: Kirsten Kohlwey

Dolly’s Bookstore has always been an independent bookstore showcasing books by Utah authors. While the bookstore didn’t start at 510 Main Street in Park City, it moved there in the early 1980s. Dolly’s Bookstore has always been more than a bookstore. Early on, Dolly Makoff also sold women’s clothing in the store since neither books nor women’s clothing sold well enough to sustain the store.

She sold the store in 1984 to the Weiss family. Claire Weiss and Dolly Makoff became friends. It was Claire Weiss who took in a stray cat and named her Dolly. The bookstore has had a series of cats since then. In the 1990s there was a fire that destroyed much of the building. It was rebuilt with some modifications, so the front no longer quite looks like the original that Dolly Makoff moved into. Its main entrance has moved to the north of the building but the sign with the cat for Dolly’s Bookstore is still visible from Main Street.

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