Believe it or not, there’s a place where bookworms and happy hour goers can gather under one roof in Baton Rouge. It’s called: The Bookstore.
Pamela Sandoz opened The Bookstore last April. But if you haven’t heard of it just yet, that may be because the bar first opened without visible signage.
It’s a quirk Sandoz was first famous for when she owned Slinky’s, the longtime West Chimes Street college bar that closed in 2018.
But after a year in business at The Bookstore, she finally gave in and put a real sign out in front in February, with “The Bookstore” in gold lettering. “I couldn’t stick to my legend as much because I need to attempt to lure more business, by virtue of my location,” Sandoz told Daily Report. “People are walking around with an unlimited amount of free ads, so you can’t really be an underground bar these days.”
Inside, The Bookstore isn’t your typical underground dive bar, anyway. Sandoz combined her love for literature and bringing people together over drinks. High tables are plastered with pages of novels like The Silence of the Lambs, A Confederacy of Dunces and Rifleman Dodd. Above the cork inlaid bar, cookbooks, nonfiction and fiction novels line a bookshelf shining with twinkle lights. The special cocktail menu—inspired by various authors and books—rotates bi-monthly. Menu themes have ranged from classic novels like To Kill a Mockingbird to Pulitzer Prize winners like The Guns of August. It’s an avid reader’s dream.
“It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around doing anything else,” Sandoz says about running the bar. “I can’t imagine anything I would be better at or enjoy more. I would miss this.”
From craft cocktail drinks to ice-cold beer, there’s a little bit of everything here. Customers can try a familiar Tin Roof Brewing Co. beer, have a glass of red wine or get adventurous with one of the bar’s creative, literature-themed cocktails like “The Paris.” The fruity, pink cocktail is made with orange-infused vodka, blood orange juice, Sprite and rosemary bitters, garnished with a candied orange peel.
After being open for almost a year, the intimate bar already has regulars. Young professionals, Marines and loyal Slinky’s customers treat the bar like their after-work hangout. Each table has tabletop games like dominoes, checkers, Jenga and even coloring books.
On the first Monday of every month, Sandoz hosts an arts and crafts night, called “Pinterest with Pam,” where customers can make crafts like LSU-themed wine glasses or NFL referee voodoo dolls. Customers can pay to participate at the bar.
True to the bar’s name, Sandoz also plans to host book signings from local authors.
The Bookstore is at 10466 Airline Highway, Suite B. Its hours are Monday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.