"For some book lovers, booze and books go together like wine and cheese, and a number of venues are capitalizing on this pairing," SevenFifty Daily noted in featuring "a look inside bookstore bars."
Among the venues featured were "independent bookstore-bar hybrids" like Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Fla., which "skew more toward a bookstore and restaurant with a cocktail program"; Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson, N.Y., which serves wine and beer with bar snacks; and Afterwords Café at Kramerbooks in Washington, D.C., offering a full food menu and coffee and cocktail menus.
Kramerbooks owner Steve Salis estimated that about 70% of his customers are D.C. locals: "It's truly a third place. That's what I think draws so many people to Kramer's--this cultural hub really resonates with our audience."
The newer Phoenix, Ariz., location for Changing Hands includes a book bar called First Draft. Co-owner Cindy Dach said, "We have a lot of online competition, and we're constantly asking the question, 'What is the bookstore 2.0; what is 4.0?' We figured by adding the beer and wine, it makes us a stronger community gathering place.... The new store... attracts all kinds of people because of the phenomenon of the bar in a bookstore."
At the Wild Detectives, Dallas, Tex., the bar shifts from coffee to alcohol throughout the course of the day. "In the morning, the crowd is more of the coffee drinker [type]," said general manager Victor Rimach-Vera. "It's calm [then], and we sell a few pastries and pies, but all of that changes after 6 p.m. We take the pastries away, we add all the herbs and the fruits on the top of the bar. It's more like a cocktail bar, but we still serve coffee and food."
Catherine Olah, the bar manager at BookBar in Denver, Colo., told SevenFifty Daily that sales from books and the wine bar even out: "During the holidays, the book side is way more profitable. And then the bar side stays pretty steady throughout.... We want to have a place where people can read and have a glass of wine."