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“A Fun Trip into a Different Era”

The Bookstore Speakeasy
Ranked #35 of 358 Restaurants in Bethlehem
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed February 21, 2011

I've been to The Bookstore a number of times over the past year or so and have found the prohibition-style bar to be a fun and refreshing break from the usual Pennsylvanian night scene. Their significant cocktail and beer list is creative (you might first wonder where it is, because it's glued into the first few pages of a book) and includes many off-the-beaten-path selections. (Try an egg-based cocktail for the full experience!) I've also had wonderful luck ordering off the menu; during my last visit, nothing on the menu was really grabbing me, so my waiter suggested I give a few guidelines and let the bartender invent his own concoction... The end product was delicious! More than anything though, the styling of the place really sent me back and before long I completely forget that I was in Bethlehem, PA!

I will concede to the previous reviewer that the staff can occasionally be a little snooty (I would be too if I was a master of the 20's cocktail!) and that the prices are above average for the area, but I still argue that it's a unique experience, that's definitely worth the premium.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank BierMadl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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195 - 197 of 197 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2010

Upside:
This restaurant, styled after a Prohibition-era speakeasy, has a unique atmosphere and a nice vibe. The beer and wine menu is fairly extensive, with a European flair.

Now to the downside:
1. We found the staff to be rude and arrogant. After our table of four was seated, they refused entry to a friend who asked to join us - even though the restaurant was over half empty (at 10:30PM). Adjacent tables sat empty while our friend went home (we left shortly thereafter).

2. The restaurant strives to offer a food and drink offering equivalent to what one would find in Europe. Hower, the variety and quality is just not up to par based on my experience.

3. The pricing cannot be supported by the food / drink offering. They are way higher than equivalent Lehigh Valley restaurants. In fact they are actually significantly higher than what I have paid in Brussels or London, even though the variety and quality falls short.

Bottom line:
Slightly above-average quality and substandard service at high prices does not constitute a good value. Even the Lehigh Valley's limited restaurant/bar options provide enough opportunity for a better night out.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
3  Thank PSUVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2016
Google Translation

    • Value
    • Service
Thank Jarle A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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