Library Bar

Tucked away in The Rittenhouse Hotel, is a quiet place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the comfort of an expertly crafted cocktail while surrounded by a collection of books and roaring fireplace. Library Bar, opened in July 2013 and remains a haven in Rittenhouse from the busy city streets with a selection of craft cocktails, beers, wines and rare spirits.

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This might be the coolest library you ever had the pleasure to drink in. Guests enter through the hotel’s main entrance and can grab a stool at the white marbletop bar or cozy up n leather chairs by the fireplace. When it comes to the atmosphere, Hersha Hospitality Trust enlisted the help of design firm Champalimaud to breathe new life into the historic 116-room luxury Rittenhouse Hotel. The $10 million renovation of the property’s Library Bar marks one of the first completed enhancements and gives guests a sophisticated new spot to relax and unwind. The decor is inspired by masculine, old-world club lounges, the 20-seat space is tucked away from the lobby, providing an intimate setting accented with a curated collection of books and fine art. 


It’s an upscale environment where every drink is crafted with care. Jesse Dureka is the master mixologist and heads up the cocktail program. We met with mixologists Lauryn Obozian and Richie Tray.

This winter the new menu highlights include, The Winter’s Tale mixed with Hennessy VS, Ramazzotti, cranberry, clove, honey, sage and chocolate bitters. This smooth, savory cocktail offers guests the flavors of dark chocolate covered cherry and spice. El Alejandro features Siembra Valles Reposado tequila, creme de cacao, cream and nutmeg. This drink is a riff on the classic Brandy Alexander utilizing Siembra Valles Reposado, whose owner and distiller David Suro actually lives in Philadelphia!

In addition to these new menu mainstays, Library Bar is making snow days fun for adults who opt to stay in and enjoy a cocktail. Every time it snows, Library Bar and Bar 210 are #OpeninPHL and this year have decided to do something special for patrons who brave the weather to journey over to The Rittenhouse. Both cocktail destinations will offer two specially-priced, festive cocktails that will only be available when it snows! First up is a boozy hot chocolate – The Drinker’s Drinking Chocolate made with Gosling ‘Black Seal’ Rum, St. Elizabeth All Spice, Aztec Chocolate at the Library Bar. Up on the second floor in Bar 210, guests can bring a friend and enjoy a Hot Toddy Tea Pot for Two with Calvados Apple Brandy, Hot Toddy Spiced Cream, Citrus Honey, and Earl Grey Tea. 

When we stopped by we enjoyed the Papi Collins and the Snow Queen. We loved snacking on the complimentary pistachios caramelized with Spanish paprika and marinated olives offered to guests. For something more substantial we sampled the Crudites Platter served with crushed ice holding a rainbow of beautiful vegetables including carrots, broccoli, radicchio, and fennel surrounding house made avocado mousse. And who are we to resist hot melted cheese on a chilly January evening? This dish offered grilled bread, pickled vegetables, roasted fingerling potatoes, proscuitto, and jam to compliment the molten cheese.

For a sample of these dishes and more stop by Library Bar inside the Rittenhouse Hotel nightly at 5 pm. Valet parking is discounted to $20 for diners. Library Bar is also available for private events during the day, up until 4 pm. Upstairs is their sister bar, Bar 210 in Lacroix. Bar 210 will be offering two new seasonal cocktails as well, including the Revolution G&T mixed with Bluecoat Gin, Cranberry, Rosemary, Ginger and Tonic and the Rittenhouse Mamajuana with Diplomatico Reserva Rum, Red Wine, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Citrus.

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The first page of their menu perhaps states it best. General Manager, Reginald Archambault writes, “For the spirit and the soul, our modest haven is a place to meet, converse, reminisce and celebrate. For old friends and new, collagues and peers, family and friends, it is a refuge from the rigors of the day. And for the palate, it is a playground. The exceptional selection for drinks and deliciously prepared food stay true to our philosophy of celebrating the season’s best ingredients in a fresh and modern way.

There is much here for the connoisseur to enjoy, from the classic to the contemporary. Whether its the smooth, caramel-texture of 100 year old Madeira, the delicate nose of a fine Burgundy or the cocktail that landed a prince in hot water, our drinks are carefully course, expertly prepared and generously served.

And should you wish yo dine with us, you’ll find the menu is the result of a close collaboration among chef, sommelier and mixologist. Lighter bites and our own charcuterie are served alongside classic food and wine pairings with just a hint of the indulgent. Whatever you might wish to enjoy, be assured that it is our privilege to serve you.”


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