Boston Public Library Offers Books and Booze

Books and booze now go together inside the new Map Room Tea Lounge at the Boston Public Library.

The bar and lounge by the Catered Affair opened inside the Copley Square landmark this week. In addition to library's traditional tea service, it features an a la carte bar menu and craft cocktails with tea-infused spirits.

"Teas have always been something Boston has been known for," said Salvatore DeGeorge, general manager for the Catered Affair. "We're just taking that great history and having fun with it."

It was DeGeorge's novel idea to redo what was once a grab and go cafe. The menu pays tribute to literary greats with drinks like the "Tequila Mockingbird" and "Catcher in the Rye."

"We're shaking things up, but we're really keeping the integrity of what this library is all about," DeGeorge said.

Patrons cannot bring their drinks to the stacks, but are welcome to devour a good book and a bite.

For those looking for a more sophisticated setting, the Courtyard tea room next door was also renovated and offers a more formal experience. They call it "A Tale of Two Tea Rooms" and afternoon tea service is available by reservation.

As for the lounge, it began welcoming guests with a soft opening this week, but it is planning a grand opening next week.

Last call has to line up with library hours. It is open Wednesday through Thursday from 3 to 8:45 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4:45 p.m.

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