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The Great Library-Inspired Bars of Dallas

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It's hard to not love a good dive. The Goat. Lee Harvey's. But sometimes a woman must "spend time with [her] fools," or be one, even if that means they've dragged her out of the warm solace of trusted neighborhood haunts into the sweeping unknown of fedoras and ascots.

With the noted (and occasionally derided) revival of Prohibition Era cocktails in Dallas came a handful of literature-inspired drinks and a lot of library-inspired bars that seem a welcome home for those of us who find comfort in floor-to-ceiling spines. In no particular order, here are a few of our favorites when we're in the mood for art deco tile floors (as opposed to sawdust) and jazz (instead of karaoke).

The Library Bar (pictured above): Nestled within the Warwick Melrose, this is not what comes to mind when you think of "hotel bar," unless of course, you happen to a budding Nick Carraway. Offers a quiet atmosphere with undertones of a live jazz piano.

Suggested Drink: The Ricky Suggested Reading: "A Diamond as Big as the Ritz"

The Standard Pour: With cocktails called "Old Man & the Sea" and "Fitzgerald's Choice" listed on soft leather-bound menus, there's no doubt that TSP appreciates the occasional Prohibition-Era story as much as its cocktail analogue. The deeply stacked bar is also set up with a rolling latter.

Suggested Drink: The Life and Death (premium gin, lemon juice, sugar, absinthe mist, aperol, Champagne) Suggested Reading: The Picture of Dorian Grey.

The Cedars Social: Known as well (or better) for scrumptious bites, the Cedars Social cocktail list may seem a bit intimidating at first. Angostura? Cherry Heering? But fear not. Proprietor/barman Michael Martensen is known as one of the city's top cocktail creatives, and when it comes to decoding the drink list, the professor is in.

Suggested Drink: The Alive and Well (Ketel One, Lemon Verbena Dolin Vermouth, Canton Ginger and Club Soda) Suggested Reading: "Lady Lazarus"

Trinity Hall: This Mockingbird establishment is not likely conducive to concentration -- on any given day, you will hear live Irish folk music or the roar of avid footie fans -- but it does host a handsome wall of hardbacks. Update: Already cool, TH just got even cooler. They tell us via Facebook, "Just so you know, full Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells and a full review of Edgar Allan Poe are all included in Trinity Hall Irish Pub's Library and open for perusal!"

Suggested Drink: Whiskey, any way you please (and you're in luck) Suggested Reading: Dubliners

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.