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“terrific atmosphere, food adequate”

The Bookstore Speakeasy
Ranked #33 of 347 Restaurants in Bethlehem
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Drinks, Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Easton, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
79 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“terrific atmosphere, food adequate”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2012

We visited this unique place last evening and loved the ambiance. What a different type of atmosphere!! The decor is dark and dimly lit by candles. The menu is in an old book but you need your cell phone light to read. The entire restaurant is lit by candles and only a few real lights. Needless to say, it is probably a fire hazard with only one door we noticed for a quick exit. The drinks were of the 1929 era and very tasty but highly overpriced ($12 for small glass with large ice cube). The food was adequate. My husband had the fried anchovies which I refused to try and he liked them but they were $14 which I feel was highly overpriced. Our entrees were the t-bone steak and crab cakes. The crab cakes came with a delicious sauce, two large scallops and two large shrimp but there was little crab in the crab cakes. I could not inspect the consistency due to the darkness of the room. The cannoli was served with nuts (walnuts, peanuts, pistachios) and the filling was superb. It did not however contain the usual chocolate chips but was a tasty alternative. We would have liked to stay for the entertainment but needed to get home to our kids. Next time we will go later and have a drink and a light fare while enjoying the music. It is definitely an unusual atmosphere that should be experienced at least once.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jill K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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181 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
33 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A great experience for the more refined tastes”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2012

A great little hide-away that is solely lit by candle-light. They encourage you to refrain from using your cell-phones which increases the 1920's atmosphere! They have some very interesting (and strong) drinks on the menu and the beer list is quite diverse.

It's definitely not a place for the rowdy partying type. But it is a very fun, cool, and interesting change of pace for the rest of us!

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JonFullCircle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethlehem
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The Bookstore Speakeasy”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2012

Okay, first off, this was the best place I have ever been to. I don't usually say this to many restaurants and or bars, this place is really worth it. Secondly, this place is not a dump. I have read some of these reviews and some one mentioned the "old" books "scattered' around the place. Come on people, its a speakeasy!! Those book are in an orderly fashion to make it look like you are taken back in time, also its called The Bookstore. The furniture: its supposed to look like that! This is a very relaxing place, hence the furniture! The furniture goes along with the theme: SPEAKEASY!! So the furniture is not shabby! Next: the lighting, people I'm only saying this one more time: IT IS A SPEAKEASY! Even better, if you are on a date, its called romantic lighting. Ever hear of this?? I sure have. Now the expense. Its worth it. Where else are you going to find lovely hand whipped drinks. The food is also worth it. Please let me know where else you can find duck perogies. Trust me this is a place that is worth traveling 5 hours. Also on Thursdays through Saturdays there is a live jazz band starting at nine. THIS PLACE IS AWESOME!

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank guitar2210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
26 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Like going back in time to the 1920's!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

We love the bookstore! Awesome atmosphere with dim lighting, great food (I love the crabcakes!), perfect service with knowledgable bartenders. Drinks are made with absolute detail and perfection. We go on Saturday nights and sit at the bar. Otherwise it's best to make a reservation. The most unique dining experience ever... The Speekeasy style is very cool!

    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Annajeanie22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
42 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Do you want to hang out in a used bookstore?”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2012

The novelty with this business is that it pretends to be a speakeasy. So you enter thru a small vestibule packed with books that look ready for the dump. The dining room is dark, crowded with shabby furniture and with piles of old books scattered around. Do you remember when Moe opened a theme restaurant and threw crazy crap on the walls? Well his was more successful as this place looks and feels like a shabby used book shop, with bad lighting.
We had a couple of cocktails and snacks that were pretty decent. I would not want to spend on an actual dinner there as the seating is so tight. The cocktails are $12 so they are charging New York (expensive New York) prices and paying south side rents.
The music was easy going jazz and pleasant but another problem was that you annot see the performers unless you are next to 'stage' or maybe sitting at the bar. This is not a place to linger over a drink but it was crowded so they are doing something right. It isn't the ambiance or prices but then there isn't much competition.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank pcplod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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