Step into 3 little-known library bars in NYC with an amazing atmosphere of books and spirits! It is fashionable for an establishment to display an assortment of high or low brow reading material. Some of us (hello) go to bars, looking to be left alone to drink our gin and tonic and read Crime and Punishment. Everyone should try reading in bars. To justify his habit, one critic for NPR said, “Bars, especially the ones I read in, are gifts.” They create the perfect oasis to retreat into one’s thoughts with always the option to engage with the exterior.
You might know some of the posher library bars located in the city’s hotels, like The Library at The NoMad Hotel, Library Bar at the Hudson, or Bookmarks at the Library Hotel. These bars are dimly lit and offer an ambiance of artisanal crafted cocktails, large but inviting leather sofas, and floor to ceiling bookcases stacked with curated collections of vintage classics. If you go, know that someone might shush you: quiet in the library everyone.
Below are three little-known library bars in NYC that could be great for your next venture.
The Library for Boozy Brunch
If you were thinking about brunching with booze and books, Milk and Rose Restaurant is a welcomed addition to the cannon of library bars. The Greenpoint establishment serves American cuisine with a Southern Italian flare. Firstly, they have a bottomless mimosa special for an hour which includes one entrée for $29.00. Secondly, a perfect Sunday afternoon could be spent reading Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert in their rustic garden. While you are reading , you will have to try their homemade ravioli.
If you didn’t bring a book, be sure to check out their library inside. Plop yourself on a bar stool or sit in their stylish red leather booths. No doubt, you will be super cozy. The atmosphere is super romantic and ideal for any bibliophile who wants to feel inspired.
You’ll want to occasionally look up from your book, so watching people enter and leave the establishment is prime bookish bar-goer protocol. We recommend cozying up with a New York literary classic like Joseph Mitchell’s McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon. Read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler if the fancy eggs have got you feeling jazzed. Just don’t forget to snag a flower from the garden for a bookmark. Your Instagram fam will share in the library bar feels.
The Divey Library
Dive bars make great library bars too. Nestled in the meatpacking district is low key library bar, Troy’s Liqueur Bar. The ambiance is an homage to the basement house party throw-downs of the late 70s and early 80s of drinking and straight chilling.
Also, they have pool and Foosball tables, as well as a menu full of bar eats. Their fried mac n’ cheese chorizo is a people pleaser. The bar’s real gem is their secluded nooks, perfect for any library bar. There is a complete wall with bookshelves and a cozy seating area for likely reading or making-out.
At Troy’s, you’ll likely be reminded of your college days. Remember how anytime you brought a book to a party, there would be one person who wanted to chat? Yes, people bring reading material to social events (hello, again).
Furthermore, when someone asks what you are reading, you can tell them The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky or Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. You can discuss with people, which is better, the book or movie versions. If a college philosophy major wants to pontificate these points, make your way back to the bar.
The Speakeasy Library Bar
What is a library bar without French red toile wallpaper? Le Boudoir is a well-kept secret in Brooklyn Heights. Marie Antoinette’s bedchambers were the inspiration for the bar’s decor, and it is every bit as gold and lavish as you would expect.
They serve cocktails fit for a French queen that are as visually appealing as they are fragrant. After one of their signature Dauphin cocktails, you’ll be swinging to the moon like an ingénue in a rococo painting.
Le Boudoir is a speakeasy. To enter the bar room, you must go through a door disguised as a bookcase. The books on the case are an authentic replication of Marie Antoinette’s personal library. Hence, girls who like to party, also like to read. Interestingly, Marie Antoinette has surged in modern favor. There is a current exhibition at the Conciergerie in France that highlights her trajectory from despised ruler to feminist icon.
You’ll want to sip your $13.00 to $15.00 priced cocktail near the stage where live music and jazz is performed every Monday night. We recommend reading anything by Marquis de Sade. For more venues like Le Boudoir, check our NYC speakeasies list for 2019.