Some novels are best read with a glass of whiskey, served neat, to assist in punctuating long chapters and sweeping narratives. Regrettably, I’ve found that most literary establishments do not follow this pleasure-mixed-with-more-pleasure tactic — that is, until my friends and I discovered Bookstore Bar & Cafe while strolling around the streets of downtown Seattle.
The cozy spot, located within Alexis Hotel, recognizes the genius in pairing libations with a side of Virginia Woolf or Jack Kerouac. Rows of books line the shelves, which run parallel to bottles upon bottles of booze. Visitors can grab a hardback to skim in-house while nestled in a booth or to buy for later indulgence. Board games are also available for those who would rather play than turn pages.
There’s something softly romantic and old-school European about Bookstore Bar & Cafe, with its chestnut-colored wooden trim around the bar, dim lighting from vintage lamps, an exposed ceiling and accents painted in deep auburn red and forest green.
Happy hour is the best time to go, from 3 to 6 p.m. or 10 p.m. until midnight. A small charcuterie plate will set you back $5, and when we visited, oysters on the half-shell were just $1 each. An ice-cold Pimm’s Cup with a few extra sprigs of mint works quite nicely to wash it all down.