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“great date night or small friend gathering spot”

The Bookstore Speakeasy
Ranked #30 of 364 Restaurants in Bethlehem
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 10 November 2016

My spouse and I had dined here on a recent Friday night, and we had made reservations prior to ensure a table. I would recommend reservations, but if you're going with a small group (2-4) I honestly don't think it's necessary. There is a bar that you can easily sit or stand by for drinks and a light bite. The lighting in the restaurant is rather dark, since it's mainly lit by candlelight but I found that to be perfect for the environment they aim for. The vibe is very cozy and inviting with the stacked books, drapery and candles. Our food was very well prepared, however I would not recommend the crab cakes as I personally found them to be more breading/filling than crab meat. The escargot was good as well as the black truffle fries. The drink list is the real reason to go here! There are so many options and they are well made! There's even an option to be adventurous and have the bartender create a drink based on your tastes. I rarely find many of these drinks on other drink menus, and I will definitely return even if it's for a pre-dinner or post-dinner drink. Overall, it has a very cool, hidden 20's vibe. Reviews I had read mentioned it was difficult to find, but we located the door without a problem. I'd recommend this as a great place for a date night, anniversary or friends gathering. If you have trouble reading a menu with little lighting though, be prepared because the menus can be tricky to read with minimal lighting. I enjoyed the atmosphere, and plan to make many returns!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 4theluvofwine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 - 48 of 206 reviews

Reviewed 9 November 2016

My first visit, coming on a Friday night at 9:00pm. After reading so many positive reviews, I really wanted to like this place a lot. However, my first impression walking in the door was the smell of kerosene from the numerous lanterns on the tables. I am sensitive to smells, and unfortunately I found this to be slightly nauseating. While all of the flickering candles and lamps makes for a romantic atmosphere, it would be great if the wait staff could carry little pocket flashlights to use for those who are unable to read the menus due to the dim light.

The ceiling is very low, and there are no windows, which gives the room a bit of a claustrophobic feeling. It also amplifies conversations, making it a very loud scene when the room is completely full (as it was for the 4 hours that I was there). Even when the music wasn’t playing, you need to lean in and speak loudly to converse with your table mates. The crowd averaged people from their 20’s to their 60’s. My one table-mate was in his 80’s, and he was really enjoying the music!

The bartenders were all smiles, very friendly and attentive to keeping your glass full. The wait staff was pleasant and friendly, and very efficient at keeping the tables cleared, and checked in with the patrons regularly. You can dress casually, which is nice.

I came specifically to listen to the live music, and enjoy a good drink. On this particular night, Larry Hunt and Sean Meyers gave a fine performance, keeping the crowd tapping their toes, dancing and smiling. They played a variety of tunes, and encouraged the crowd to sing along at times. Lots of fun!

Be careful with parking. You may need to drive around to find an open spot along the street. Then, you must feed the meters up until 9:00pm.

    • Service
Thank LLyons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2016

My friend and I were in town for a half marathon a few weeks ago and we stumbled upon this gem. We took an uber to the address and when we arrived we couldn't find the entrance since it is not well marked. There is a door with a little flap and that is it.Upon opening the door we were immediately transported to another time. The decor, lighting, music, ambiance everything was as if we were walking through the pages of the Great Gatsby or something. We took a seat at the bar and started perusing the thick text book of cocktails, yes the menus are actual text books with pages and pages of the most interesting cocktails. The bartenders were hands down the best! They were all very friendly, inviting , helpful and pretty much will make whatever you want or offer suggestions if you can't decide from the large menu. Overall, this was awesome experience and I can't wait to go back!!!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Leah U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2016

The Bookstore speakeasy gets you in the mood right from the start. Just finding the door makes you feel like you are in on the secret. The decor and atmosphere are perfect, I felt like I was in a New York City restaurant. I ordered the chicken and my wife ordered the steak, both meals were excellent. Only thing I would mention is it is a fine dinning experience so the price goes with it.

Thank hjwemsly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2016

They hide the door in plain sight to start you off with the speakeasy feel / atmosphere. Very cleaver. Great drinks and the food was fabulous.

Thank simplegrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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