Bristol is brimming with hidden gems across the city but this bar might just be the most mysterious and discrete of them all. What may look like an antique bookshop from the outside is in fact a cocktail bar tucked away on the inside perfect for pre- or post-dinner drinks.
The bar on St Nicholas Street in the Old City is only a few doors down from popular steakhouse Mugshot, also run by the same owners Adam Bryan and Zowie Yip. Known as The Library, this cocktail bar shares the same 1920s feel as Mugshot, think Peaky Blinders as it oozes plenty of sophistication from the era with its dark wood panelled walls, brass finishes and low lighting but minus the bottle-throwing and bust-ups.
To enter The Library, visitors will have to ring a buzzer to be let in and then find the secret entrance to this latest cocktail bar hidden behind a a bookcase full of antique hardback books. Once inside grab a pew, either a stool by the bar or a cosy armchair by the fire, and sip on one of The Library’s eclectic cocktails with some served in vintage coupe glasses.
The bar will serve ‘high-end style canapé dishes’ alongside a range of cocktails each evening as well as planning to operate as a tearoom during the daytime. Plus, venture below and you’ll find a distillery in the basement where Bristol Dry Gin is working with The Library to produce wonderful gin for the bar upstairs.
Be sure to try the Mugshot Earl Gray & Lavender Gin as well as the magnificently-crafted cocktails such as Citadel (Glasgow Blend whisky, vermouth, cherry liqueur, Mr Black coffee liquor and chocolate bitters), Norwegian Wood (Brockmans gin, Japanese liqueur umeshu and cacao bianco) or Emerald City (No3 gin, Fleur de Sureau, Green Chartreuses, simple syrup, lime juice and apple juice).
The Library is now taking bookings and will initially only be available for pre- and post-dinner drinks to those who have booked at Mugshot. The private lounge will open from 4pm every day until midnight on weeknights and 1am on weekends. Book your pre-or post dinner drinks at The Library here.