Calling all bar-hopping bookworms!
If you’re an avid reader and love a themed bar with a classy touch, these literary havens in NYC are the perfect spots for you. You’ll feel equally comfortable drinking alone with a good book at the bar, or cozying up with a date you want to impress with your intellectual spark.
One thing’s for sure: you need to bookmark this list!
1. The Writing Room, Upper East Side
This cozy, literary-themed bistro offers New American comfort food and cocktails and walls lined with books and portraits of famous authors. If you’re in the Upper East Side, this is definitely a place to check out. Who knows, you might be inspired to write the next bestseller…
Address: 1703 2nd Ave
Hours: Monday 3-10pm, Tuesday-Thursday 11:45am-10pm, Friday 11:45am-11pm, Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-9:30pm
2. Chumley’s, Greenwich Village
Chumley’s first opened in 1922 as a speakeasy and saw all the great authors, like F. Scott Fitzgerald and wife Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac and many more. The original owner, Leland Chumley, wanted to be a writer himself and made it a haven for all his favorite authors. He always asked them to bring a book jacket from their latest work to hang on the wall, which still line the walls there today (though many now are reproductions).
Address: 86 Bedford Street
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 5:30-11:45pm
3. The Lit. Bar, The Bronx
Bronx native and resident Noëlle Santos opened The Lit. Bar in April of 2019, after dreaming of creating the first indie bookstore in the borough for years (it is now the only bookstore in the entire Bronx, after the Bay Plaza Barnes & Noble closed in 2016). They serve wine and hold wine tastings, readings and book clubs, so you can “bookstore & chill” to your heart’s content.
Address: 131 Alexander Ave, The Bronx
Hours: Sunday-Monday 12-8pm, Tuesday-Saturday 12-10pm
4. The Library at the NoMad Hotel, NoMad
As the name suggests, this bar area in the NoMad Hotel actually looks like a library. In this bi-level literary mecca, you’ll feel like you are in the library of a prestige college rather than a hotel in NYC. The Library closes to the public at 4pm (although it remains open to guests), so be sure to get there early.
Address: 1001 Broadway
Hours: 9am-4pm Daily
5. Molasses Bookstore, Bushwick
Half used bookstore, half bar/cafe, this trendy spot is great for finding a new book or for working remotely with your computer. Bring a friend and enjoy the collection (and the totally hipster vibes).
Address: 770 Hart Street
Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-12am, Saturday-Sunday 10am-11pm
6. Bookmarks Bar at the Library Hotel, Midtown
With one cocktail called “Tequila Mockingbird,” it’s more than Bookmarks’s name that has a literary lilt. Make your way to the 14th floor of Library Hotel in Midtown and enjoy their Poetry Garden and a writer’s den. As an added bonus, real literary nerds will love that each of the ten guest room floors of the Library Hotel are dedicated to the major categories of the Dewey Decimal System.
Address: 299 Madison Avenue
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 4pm-12am, Friday-Saturday 4pm-1am
7. Oscar Wilde, NoMad
Oscar Wilde pays homage to—you guessed it—the Irish writer and playwright, Oscar Wilde. The ornate furnishings might have you thinking it has been around forever, but don’t be fooled, it opened in 2017. It also houses New York City’s longest bar at 118.5 feet.
Address: 45 West 27th St
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30am-2am, Saturday-Sunday 11am-2am
8. The Dead Poet, Upper West Side
Started by NYC English teachers, The Dead Poet offers a host of poet and literary-inspired cocktails. The long and narrow space in this Upper West Side bar has a special treat for anyone who shares a birthday with a famous author listed at the back of their menu.
Address: 450 Amsterdam Avenue
Hours: 12pm-4am Daily
9. Shakespeare & Co., UWS
Though Shakespeare & Co. is primally a bookshop, last year they expanded hours and started serving wine and beer in their storefront cafe. Now it makes a perfect post-work drink spot where you can pick up your latest read!
Address: 2020 Broadway
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-9pm, Saturday 9am-10pm, Sunday 10am-8pm
10. Book Club Bar, East Village
This newly-opened bookstore already serves tea and MUD coffee, and are in the process of adding beer and wine to its menu as a self-described “bookstore + wine bar.” They also have a cozy reading nook with plush chairs so you can kick back with a good read (and drink)!
Address: 197 East 3rd St
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-9pm
Featured image: Facebook / The Writing Room
Also published on Medium.