9 Bookish Bars You Have to Visit in NYC

Fellow New Yorkers!  Did you know that there are bars around the city that are dedicated to book lovers?  It’s true!  In this article I will be listing and describing nine awesome bookish bars.


image via the writing room

1. The writing room, 1703 2nd avenue

This casual fine dining/bar was originally known as Elaine’s fifty years ago, a space where celebrities, screen writes, NY notables and locals alike frequented.  This new space opened up in 2011 by delivering something different to the ever-changing neighborhood while still paying homage to the building’s history.  The Writing Room’s concept involves an open kitchen speckled with subway tiles in the bar room, which is meant to take diners back to simpler times while, again, paying homage to the original Elaine’s.  Its literary theme is emphasized in the main dining room, with hanging photos inspired by famous authors, libraries, and writers.  The space also has bookshelves with handpicked hardcovers and paperbacks!


image via nick solares on ny eater

2. chumley’s, 86 bedford street

Chumley’s was originally opened up as a speakeasy in 1922.  It became a favorite spot for influential writers, poets, playwrights, journalists, and activists, including members of the Lost Generation and the Beat Generation movements.  Today, it is an American restaurant that offers spins on quintessential New York dishes paired with classic cocktails.  Echoing its 1920s Prohibition-speakeasy origins, the restaurant today is decorated in 1920s style and glamour, adorned with the book jackets and famous faces of writers who drank at the former speakeasy.  The space is hosting a ‘Roaring Twenties’ event on March 23, 2020.  The event’s cocktail hour starts at 6:30PM with a seated dinner and dancing at 7:30PM.  They will be serving dishes relevant to the time period, and you can smoke candy cigarettes and drink from a champagne tower.  If you’re interested, going on their website will bring up a window describing the event, along with a link to get tickets on Resy.


image via the dead poet

3. the dead poet, 450 amsterdam avenue 2

Combining his passion for Irish pubs and literature, owner Drew Dvorkin opened The Dead Poet in 2000.  Drew was formerly a high school English teacher, who designed the bar to celebrate the lives of deceased famous writers and poets.  The bar has mahogany-panelled walls adorned with black and white photos, quotations, and poetic philosophical passages.  If you’d like, you can get a glass full of their signature cocktails, get a pint of premium beer, or sample from their Irish whiskey menu.  They even let you browse their library of classic literature and you can even sign out books to take home!  If you’re into music, they also have a jukebox.



image via i love the upper west side

4. Shakespeare & co, 2020 broadway

Shakespeare & Co. has three bookstores in Manhattan, with all three focusing on selling books as well as materials to Hunter College and Marymount Manhattan College students.  All three locations include a cafe where readers can grab a drink or bite to eat while enjoying a good book.  However, the one at 2020 Broadway recently expanded their hours and started serving wine and beer in their storefront cafe, which makes it a perfect after-work spot to have a drink and unwind with a good book!


image via buzz tonight

5. the library at the nomad hotel, 1170 broadway

The Library at the Nomad Hotel is a fully curated, two-floor library with an original spiral staircase from France!  Readers can lounge on nice couches while eating finger foods alongside coffee, tea, wine, and cocktails. Overall, the space is stylish and classy, though it is a bit expensive.  Keep in mind that after 4PM, the library is only accessible via guests of The NoMad Hotel.


image via library hotel collection

6. the bookmarks lounge at the library hotel, 299 Madison Avenue

This literary-themed bar is located at The Library Hotel, which interestingly enough, has its floors titled after Dewey Decimal system categories.  The bar is located on a rooftop, and it has a literary air twisted with a corporate feel.  It features a mahogany fireplace with little bookshelves scattered around and fancy patio furniture out on the terrace.  The bar features cocktails like The Pulitzer (gin, elderflower liqueur, Fernet, agave nectar) or Dante’s Inferno (mezcal, blood orange liqueur, Aperol).



image via  book club bar

7. book club bar, 197 e 3rd street

This bookstore opened up in November 2019 and serves as a community hub for the East Village.  It self-describes itself as “a new kind of independent bookstore featuring top-notch coffee, beer, and wine.”  The owners, Erin Neary and Nat Esten, have been living in the East Village for over a decade, and they wanted the bookstore to reflect the dynamic neighborhood.  The decor is designed to feel like a living room, the multiple bookcases feature a curated book inventory, and their locally roasted coffee and NY state craft beers finish off the experience.


image via obed obwoge on teen vogue

8. the lit. bar, 131 alexander avenue

The Lit. Bar was opened by Noëlle Santos in April of 2019 after her dream to create the first indie bookstore in the borough for years.  As a fellow Bronxite, Noëlle earned her business/accounting degree from Lehman college in 2009 and a master’s degree in Human Resources management in 2012.  The Lit. Bar that she opened is supposed to be as multifaceted as her, as she says: a bookstore/wine bar/community center.  The bookstore serves wine and even holds wine tastings, readings, and book clubs.


image via caroline shadood on brokelyn

9. molasses bookstore, 770 hart street

Molasses Bookstore was opened in July of 2012 by Matthew Winn, and according to him, his bookstore is built for lingering.  He wants the place to be affordable, with the average book being in the $1 to $10 range. There are also art books sold at Molasses, though these are a little pricier, from $15 to $25.  The bookstore even has its own main feature feature: a barter system.  Readers can trade books for coffee or for other books, and eventually beer and wine.  Essentially, you’re trading in old books you may no longer want for store credit.  If you want to trade in a book, you can get up to 30% resale value – more so in trade value than in cash.


featured image via Thrillist


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Get Thee to This ‘Game of Thrones’ Pop Up Bar

Winter is here, we know this because it’s really cold…and also, everyone everywhere is talking about Game of Thrones. It has roughly been 519 days since the last episode of HBO’s cultural phenomenon, based on George R.R Martin’s epic series of fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, aired. We still have to wait another torturous 76 days to see everyone’s favorite incestuous couple arrive at Winterfell. Sansa will be pissed, The Three-Eyed Raven/Bran will be stoic, and Arya will probably hug Jon while we all cry. We’re invested in the fate of Westeros in the unhealthiest of ways, and we DO NOT CARE.


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Some of us will remember the night Jon Snow marched on Winterfell with an army of wildlings in an attempt to take back his home and save his flat-footed brother from resident sleaze ball Ramsey Bolton=The Battle of The Bastards. This battle took place on the same night Lebron James’ Cavaliers faced off against the Golden State Warriors in game seven of the 2016 NBA finals. Some of us were torn between two watch parties, perhaps more than two depending upon one’s likability. It was a night plagued by conflict; two narratives, similar in scope, dissimilar in emotional resonance.


*Cue melodramatic GoT music*


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For those of us who bid their companions farewell by simply reminding them of how dark and full of terrors the night is, the decision was easy: make new friends, basketball doesn’t matter. It is with this kind of devotion to George R.R. Martin’s creation that we “patiently” await the return of our favorite show. As April 14th draws nearer, the people of Chicago await GoT’s return with the help of a very particular vice…


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Replay Lincoln Park, an arcade bar in Chicago will host a GoT pop-up beginning on February 1st. The experience is being referenced to as “Winter 2019,” and will feature a variety of Westerosi feels. In addition to the expected White Walker and Iron Throne references, the pop up will also include Ommegang Brewery’s Game of Thrones beers, such as Arbor Gold and Fire & Blood. There will also be a bunch of wine, Dothraki cocktails and a dwarf who drinks whilst knowing things. Hardcore fans can purchase a VIP ticket for 20$ that will include souvenir like things yadda yadda but most importantly—priority access to the bar. Replay Lincoln Park will also be hosting other GoT themed events over the course of next month, such as a Red Wedding feast, jousting tournament and a GoT trivia night every Thursday until March 1st.


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Until April 14th, we will all just have to go to places like Chicago to get our GoT fix. When that fateful day arrives, people are going to watch the final season in various different ways; I for one have ordered myself an exact replica of Longclaw and will sit with it in front of my television while the end unfolds. The men and women of the Burlington Bar, another bar in Chicago, will continue their boisterous watch parties for all the world to see…



Look at those wonderful souls.


P.S. According to Oddsshark, Vegas odds have Bran taking the Iron Throne. Nah, Gendry for sure.



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