Library Bar

Bar / Gastropub / Lounge
Library Bar "Self-described as ""the perfect escape from the Hollywood bar scene,"" the scholastically-themed Library Bar is both a sophisticated drinking spot and after-work social scene that caters to downtown residents, business professionals..." Los Angeles United States 34.049095 -118.256192
3.1 24
Library Bar - Bar | Gastropub | Lounge in Los Angeles.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Self-described as “the perfect escape from the Hollywood bar scene,” the scholastically-themed Library Bar is both a sophisticated drinking spot and after-work social scene that caters to downtown residents, business professionals... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Red Line: 7th Street/Metro Center; Purple Line: 7th Street/Metro Center

  • Phone:

    213-654-0053

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–F 3pm–2am, Sa–Su 7pm–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Library Bar Review

The Scene

"Self-described as ""the perfect escape from the Hollywood bar scene,"" the scholastically-themed Library Bar is both a sophisticated drinking spot and after-work social scene that caters to downtown residents, business professionals..."

Self-described as “the perfect escape from the Hollywood bar scene,” the scholastically-themed Library Bar is both a sophisticated drinking spot and after-work social scene that caters to downtown residents, business professionals, and local USC students.

The neon blue sign outside belies the venue’s chic décor and upscale vibe inside, where shuttered windows create a nighttime feel and cast atmospheric slats of light across the wood-paneled floors and ceilings and exposed brick walls.

Although the prominent marble bar features literary-themed drinks like the Hemingway-inspired The Sun Also Rises, the venue subtly undercuts any pretension with its classic rock jukebox and the burgers-and-fries menu written in marker on the mirrors behind the bar.

Since the main area is usually standing room only – and the coveted big booth is usually occupied by chatty young professionals – those in need of space should check out the comfy library lounge.

Modeled on the private English libraries of yesteryear, the lounge puts the main focus on the weathered tomes that line one entire wall, warmed up by cowhide rugs, caramel leather couches, and a candle-filled fireplace that bathes guests in an amber glow as they wax philosophical, engage in heart to hearts, or just joke around with friends.

As Library Bar regulars know, however, this place is more popular than a Grisham novel, so it’s best to show up early before the lively late-night crowds make it impossible to find a cozy drinking nook.

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Tip from Lucas:

Finding parking downtown is frustrating and expensive, but if you park in the underground lot on the corner of West 6th Street and South Hope Street below State Farms Insurance, the Library Bar will validate your ticket. All you have to do is buy at least two drinks, and the parking will only cost you $5.

  • Crowd

    Downtown Los Angeles residents, business professionals, beer lovers, some college students, early 20s to mid-30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    A jukebox provides a selection of classic rock and hits from the 80s and 90s.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Classic American menu of salads, fries, burgers, sandwiches, and sliders. Happy Hour M–F 5–11pm and Sa–Su 7–11pm offering choice of five drinks including Stella Artois beer, cosmopolitans, margaritas, grapefruitinis, and Library lemonade.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $4–$9, burgers and sandwiches $8+. Beer $6–$15, wine $8–$12, cocktails $9–$12.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    The after-work crowd is in business attire, but dark jeans paired with a collared shirt or heels also acceptable.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights for the biggest crowds.

  • Close By

    Casey's Irish Pub (613 South Grand Avenue) offers a similar atmosphere.

Library Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
Library Bar is both fun and elegant
Jeffrey Z. Aug 8, 2013
Headline: “Want to read a book? Want a drink? Well, there’s a place for you my friend!” Subhead: The Library Bar offers drinks inspired by famous authors and their work By Jeffrey Zide “The Old-Fashioned” Recipe 3 oz rye whiskey 1 muddled orange cherry 1 bitters-soaked sugar cube a few drops of soda water Served on ice with citrus peel garnish Have you ever wanted to read a book and curl up by a fire place with a drink in hand? What if you could do that in public? If you head down to West 6th St. in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, you will find the place to do just that - The Library Bar. The Library Bar is just as it sounds: a fusion of an actual library, complete with couches to curl up on with a good book, and a bar with a food and drink menu. It’s jam-packed on Saturday nights. If you want to bring a group, it’s best to make a reservation in advance, so you can have a place to sit. It can get very crowded within an hour of opening. The Library Bar is open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. and on weekends opens from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. You should arrive on weekends at 7 p.m. sharp if you would like to be served quickly. By 9:30 it will be standing room only. On the menu is your typical bar food: burgers and appetizers. For drinks they have Stella Artrolis and Craftsman on tap and an array of cocktails. Their most popular drink, and their speciality, is called “Old Fashioned.” The cocktail is a sweet with a sugar cube soaked in bitters and served with a muddled orange cherry. Some of their other drinks are the “Tequila Mockingbird,” the “Tennessee Williams” and “Checkov’s Mule.” These cocktails are priced between $10-12. Matt Freitas, general manager of the Library Bar for the last three years, admits that his favorite drink is the “Old Fashioned.” Freitas said he wanted the drinks to reflect the atmosphere of the location, placing an emphasis on scotch drinks and other drinks that represent a certain type of sophistication. The location was entirely deliberate; the bar being located on Hope St. with the street eventually dead-ending to the Los Angeles Public Library, Freitas said. Freitas said the owners had the location nailed-down before they even had a guarantee for the bar. “They wanted the patrons to have the feeling of being in some rich person’s library, with pipes and large black leather chairs,” Freitas said.
Books+Alcohol= Pleasure
Stella S. Jun 4, 2013
Going anywhere near downtown can be a safari on it's own, which is why it took me so long to actually check this place out. When I heard there wasn't a cover charge, my senses enlightened, and dashed 10 minutes east to check it out. The line was short, but certainly crowded inside on a Saturday night. I was in a daze, so instantly ordered a whiskey sour to enjoy my view in a different light. I learned quickly that the happy hour is from 4-8 and also have Cinema Sundays which entails of a free movie, $2 popcorn and more drink specials. Truth be told, the drinks here weren't the best. Its popularity arose from the atmosphere, and trendy ambiance, alluring and inspring you to write a review about what a wonderful time you had, sitting and having a quote-on-quote philosophical conversation with your friends, or random-person-at-the-bar-who-was-totally-hot-from-a-distance-but-you-forgot-your-glasses-and-really-isn't. Overall, who doesn't dream about having a drink next to a sultry fireplace with someone desirable? I know it's not just me.
A perfect place for a facebook pic
Tim K. Apr 9, 2013
Tucked away around the corner from the Standard Hotel, this offers a fun and no-cover fee alternative to the downtown clubs. A good mix of cocktails and fun ambiance in a bar that is full of real old books. The clientele is diverse and amusing. You will be sure to meet locals and tourists, as well as a good clip of straight-from-the-midwest-to-Hollywood type. And best of all, its the perfect setting to take a few pictures to throw up on facebook, get the angle just right and people will be impressed thinking you are browsing the ancient library of a Hollywood celebrity.
Living Library
Ethel A. Apr 3, 2013
Silence is not required at this library. With books decorating the walls and people decorating the bar, you will know the approach. Because of its cool, quaint vibe, it is welcoming to all the cool kids; from trendy residents to professionals looking for that happy hour drink. From the outside looking in, a crowd of people in good conversation with a drink in hand and smile on face. The bar offers plenty of their specialty mixes that provide chic way to drink. The Library Bar is known for perfecting the science of the perfect libation. The essence of their old fashioned drinks, brings the essence of the space. With a good libation in hand, a look around will find you brick walls, vintage bar stools, a faux fireplace, intimate lighting, and a classic rock playing jukebox to seal the deal. Perfect for the chats with friends or for a wind down with close colleagues. Even their diverse menu can spark up a convo with a library usual. Dinning is not strange at this library. A blend of starters can be shared or deliciously conquered by one along with the mains that include a library version of gourmet hamburgers and sandwiches. All great picks for those who believe in breaking bread over good conversation and great vibe. Come one, come all! But for this major experience, be sure to beat the late night crowd.
For book lovers taking a night off from the stacks
Lauren W. Feb 22, 2013
Yes, there are books here--real ones (if not the highest of literary caliber) lining a wall of shelves--but in this dark, cozy interior, they're not really meant to be read. Instead, belly up to the bar and do what any writer would do: order a drink. The Library Bar does them right, concocting their own mixers and infusing their own Earl Grey gin, so the notorious namesakes of Wilde's Sazerac and the Earl Grey Hemingway would surely have endorsed their eponymous creations--all the way to the bottom of the glass. But before you settle down into one of those plush dark leather seats, remember what Virginia Woolf said: one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. So order up some pork belly skewers and chorizo sliders to accompany you on your liquid literary journey. Salud.
Great Bar Food
Kirsten H. Dec 2, 2012
The Library Bar is a low key bar that lives up to its name, as it is surrounded by bookcases and leather chairs. This bar caters to an older crowd of late twenties to thirties and the food is actually pretty good. If you came to eat, I recommend getting the chorizo sliders and the grilled cheese. I never realized bar food could be so good. As a bar, this place is nothing extraordinary, but I would recommend checking it out if you want a chill night or a quick bite to eat.
Small but Lively
Keira R. Nov 25, 2012
The library bar is right across the street from the Standard but completely different. Library bar is very small and dark, decorated with bookshelves and velvet couches. It gets very crowded on a weekend night. It also is very crowded as people come during the weeknights after work for a beer. I have been with other USC people in a group, but we never see other USC students there. It seems to have a crowd that is older than college students. I would recommend if you want a more low key night, or just to have some drinks with friends since it isn't a crazy or "party" scene type of bar.
The Name Says it All
Moremi O. Nov 11, 2012
If you judged this place by its name, you would think that it's a hangout for literary types...and you'd be right. You get the intellectual types pushing up their sleeves after an exhausting day of teaching or doing research for a thesis. They gather around the bar or one of the two booths, discussing the Decadents and Aesthetes over bitter ale. But you certainly don't need a Phd to enjoy this bar. The books lining the bookcases are merely for decoration, although I did take time to thumb through a copy of Moby Dick while I was there. The scene is pretty sedate, but by the night's end the nerds get a bit rowdy and the tiny space fills with laughter and the sounds of Red Hot Chili Peppers. If you come for drinks, you may be a bit disappointed. The beer is bitter, and there seems to be no respite for those with a sweet tooth (like myself), save for a tangerine brew that's slightly less pungent.
Shhh...I'm Drinking.
Andrew N. Nov 5, 2012
I have been here a handful of times now after refusing to pay $10 to get into the Standard, and let me tell you, it is pretty OK. Street Parking is brutal and the space is small for a weekend crowd, but the decor is nice and the drinks are great. This bar favors groups and seems like it is better suited for an after-work Hefeweizen rather than a rager. My main beef with the Library Bar is that it lacks a certain energy or identity. Unless you are immersed in great conversation with the friends you came with, your options for the night are to sit, stand, or order more drinks. There needs to be board games, or books, or even an actual old librarian who scolds you for talking too loud. Something! On the plus side the owner looks like Christian Bale's less attractive and successful brother, Tristan Dale...so, there's that. Get your study on and see for yourself.
Good crowd, decent drinks
Jackie D. Nov 4, 2012
Library Bar is an awesome low key place to hangout with friends. The only downside of bringing lots of people, is that the space itself is pretty tiny. During the weekends the bar fills up pretty quickly and stays full until last call. Drinks seem to have decreased in quality recently and can sometimes be a little sloppy. I would recommend coming for a happy hour snack and a beer during their quieter hours so that you can actually enjoy your company.
Reading is fun!
Gary T. Oct 21, 2012
A friend who works there invited me to check it out. I don't usually trek downtown, but this place might bring me back. The bar isn't huge and the motif, you guessed it, that of a library without the air of erudite, aspiring writers one might find at Bourgeoisie Pig on Franklin Ave. There are a few plush couches and table seating, but I preferred the bar where the drinks are standard mid-range priced, the menu is better suited for those looking to stave off early intoxication. The clientele is mainly business professionals looking to cap off the day with a happy-hour drink, or six. But as usual when venturing downtown (and it is a road trip from Hollywood during rush hour) my only pet peeve is looking for street parking which, as anyone who has danced the parking shuffle in this city knows, is grating enough to send a casual drinker to bottom of a bottle of vodka.
Happy hour!
Megan M. Oct 5, 2012
Books and booze! While weekends get really crazy, I really enjoy coming here on weeknights. It's much less crowded, and the people seem chiller. Drinks are expensive, but strong and worth it. I usually like coming during happy hour though, when the drinks are just as strong but much cheaper... Happy hour also usually brings in a diverse crowd, and it's always fun to come and people watch. Definitely one of my top favorite downtown LA bars!
Fun little library
Moe G. Oct 4, 2012
This place is super small, so therefore always crowded on the weekends, and it takes forever to get a drink. The atmosphere is pretty cool though with the book shelves across the bar, dim light and its pretty loud. A place worth checking out if the line isn't long.
Happy Hour!
Jessica M. Oct 4, 2012
I have only been here once, but I had an enjoyable experience and would definitely go back. I can't say much about the regular crowd, but it seems mostly like young local professionals. They had a nice happy hour. I love the decor, mainly the shelves and shelves of books. It has a nice atmosphere. It's pretty dimly lit and it gets pretty loud. When I was there, I ordered the pork belly sandwich and some garlic fries. The fries were amazing and the pork belly sandwich was delicious. I am a huge fan of pork belly but I don't typically care for mixing sweet and savory, but this sandwich totally pulled it off. Library bar is worth a happy hour test run.
Casual bar, sometimes boring can be good
Melchor M. Oct 3, 2012
Happy hour starts at 3, so that is good for those of us who don't have an office job and need to find a happy hour place early. The beer selection is good for bottles and draught, and there are some wines, but I don't drink wine so I can't say how that list looks. You will see mostly downtown office people in this place, especially during a boring normal weekday. They have one small t.v at the bar that is always on. I don't think I have seen any others. So this is one of the few remaining casual bars that isn't trying to be a sports bar. This makes sense, since it's theme is centered around books (hence the Library bar). Its not a big bar, so I can't imagine being in there on a crowded day. It's nice and dark too. It offers some nice lounge areas, though it always seems to be hard to find a seat there. Overall, it's a great place to grab a beer nearby Central Library.
The best pork belly sandwich ever!
Bianca G. Oct 1, 2012
This little night spot is cool if you get there early before it gets too crowded. It's quaint, dark and has a mixed crowd overall everyone is really respectful and pretty mellow. The selection of beer is pretty extensive and the PORK BELLY SANDWICH is too delicious. Go there after work for a bite and a beer and it will make all of that stress just disappear. People at the door are also cool and have absolutely no attitude which makes going back a no brainer!
Cool atmosphere
Kira A. Sep 12, 2012
Library Bar is definitely one of the more popular downtown destinations and I've always had a decent time when I go there. The space is really cool visually; it has books lining the walls which gives the space an antique, hipster-ish look and a chill vibe. Drinks are standard price and happy hour has some really good deals. The crowd is always diverse in terms of age which makes the bar a little less rowdy and more of a place to go and socialize without getting crazy. The food is good too!! If you haven't been yet, I definitely recommend it!
Great for Happy Hour!
Kwanza J. Sep 5, 2012
If you’re in Downtown LA and are looking for a great place for happy hour and a mixed crowd, Library Bar is the place. Its popularity does not match the size of the space, which is comfy and chic, but quickly packed after hours and on the weekends. If you’re meeting friends, tell them to be punctual or gregarious, as they’ll likely need to chat up the stranger who you had to give their seat to at the bar. Patrons are a good mix of business people, the growing population of metropolis-leaning residents, and college students with more posh tastes, yet the vibe is still casual enough to let your hair down with a nice Chardonnay. I love to introduce new friends to each other at Library, as the polished balance of the atmosphere tends to suit any personality. Library Bar is a great place to start the evening, meet up for early dinner, or after work cocktails. The cushy couches, surrounded by books, will ease you into any subsequent nocturnal outing, and the dark booths are a great to have relaxed first date that will impress and ease any anxiety.
After Hours Book Bar
Lindy T. Aug 31, 2012
The Library Bar is the kind of place where young intellectuals and upwardly-mobile urbanites go to discuss Dostoevsky and also get drunk on cosmopolitans after a long day at the office. Due to it's very central location in Downtown LA, it does tend to be pretty packed once the weekend hits. However, if you show up during the week or a little later in the evening, nearer to closing, it can be a pretty mellow place. Library Bar decor is nostalgic and comfortable, harkening back to the days of armchair explorers and gentlemen scholars. The music is never so loud that it requires you to scream at people to have a conversation. This bar is a great place to take coworkers, friends, or dates you want to impress with your prodigious intellectual prowess. Plus, they make a killer lemonade.
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