Is Barnes & Noble adding booze to books?

Barnes & Noble will soon be pouring wine to go with "War and Peace."

Barnes & Noble will soon be pouring wine to go with “War and Peace.”

(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

For literary lovers, there’s not much more exciting than browsing a well-stocked bookstore. But one Barnes & Noble location might be trying to make book shopping even more fun by adding alcohol to the equation.

A Barnes & Noble store in New Hartford, N.Y., has applied for a beer and wine license from the state, the New Republic reports. The retailer will gauge the response from the community to determine whether to start selling booze in their other stores.

Keven Danow, a lawyer consulting with the retailer, said that alcohol could be served at book readings hosted by the store. Anyone who’s been to a number of bookstore readings knows they could often be improved by a glass of wine.


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The move could also spur changes to the store’s cafe menu. But don’t expect a sound system pumping EDM to follow.

The Utica Observer-Dispatch reports that “the location will not be turning into a bar or nightclub,” according to Danow, who promised that “It’s not going to change the complexion of the neighborhood.”

The New Republic notes that Barnes & Noble wouldn’t be the first retailer to mix books and booze, pointing to BookBar in Denver, which sells Colorado beer and a wide selection of wine (including a rosé with “dazzling and intense candied strawberry and raspberry flavors”).

There’s also Books & Brews in Indianapolis, a used-book store that makes its own beer, including a tripel ale called “The Prisoner of Azkaban” and a quadrupel ale named “Nineteen Eighty Quad.”

Book lovers with a taste for adult beverages might not want to get too excited yet, though — Barnes & Noble doesn’t appear to have any plans to expand the books and booze program to other locations yet.


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