The Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange, one of Adelaide’s oldest and established bars, has been reborn this year with a new larger whiskey range, extended opening hours and a new outlook.
“The Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange has been reborn,” owner Colin says. “It’s got more whisky than it’s ever had before and we’re getting busier and busier. While the bar’s been around for years, we’ve given it a fresh feel.”
The bar’s now stocking over 230 whiskies behind the bar from all over the world, drawn from Australia, America, Scotland, Japan, France, India and beyond.
“While Whisky has always been popular, we have seen in recent times a surge in varieties and styles available. Whisky is also flexible enough that it can be used in so many drinks. We’ve got an extensive selection and team here can even educate you on different whisky styles and how they are made,” Colin says.
While whisky may be the bar’s speciality, it also stocks over 40 gins, and has a great list of vodka, cognac and brandy and tequila and mezcal. That’s before we jump into the sizeable number of cocktails which each tell a special story – much like the books that line the bar’s walls.
The Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange isn’t a library of sorts, it’s about the swap. Picture yourself selecting your favourite drink while choosing a book right off the wall. It’s a great exchange, whether you’re seeking a serene moment of relaxation solo or aiming to share it with a friend or loved one.
And to fit with the bar’s theme of being surrounded by great literature lining its walls, the entire cocktail list is named after classic movies and books which fit the storyline of the bar. Imagine the ‘Elementary cocktail’ made with peated scotch and pedro ximenes or enjoying a ‘Drink Me cocktail’ with duck fat rum, cherry sake and pineapple which quotes a classic line from Alice in Wonderland.
“When the bar was originally set up, it took a point of difference from the start. There’s 100s upon 100s of books which people can chill out with. They can enjoy a glass of wine or a spirit in one hand while flicking through a book in the other if they wish,” Colin says.
“There’s books on everything from dreams, to Richard Branson, to travel books – there’s all sorts to look through.”
Of course, that aspect is only one part of the set up. It’s become a great new go-to place for sophisticated yet relaxing drinking in Adelaide. While it’s a quieter and smaller bar perfect for winding down after a busy day, it’s also nestled next to sister bar A Social Undertaking and on a street that has become very popular.
“With a lot of redevelopment going on in our street at the moment, Gresham Street will soon glow as the redevelopments come to a finish in the new year,” Colin says.
“It’s really a lovely spot to sit out in the street and relax.”
The Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange
Where: 27 Gresham Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Open: Monday & Sunday — CLOSED
Tuesday — 5 pm ’til 11 pm
Wednesday — 5 pm ’til 11 pm
Thursday — 5 pm ’til 12 am
Friday — 5 pm ’til 2 am
Saturday — 5 pm ’til 2 am
More info: Click here