Tonight, one of my best friends and I went to the Petworth neighborhood in DC to check out the Petworth Citizen and Reading Room. It’s right next door to Upshur Books, so of course we went in there beforehand. I got a copy of Akata Witch by Nnedi Okarafor and Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli, and gazed at the London Review of Books before not buying it (Fun fact, I used to frequent the LRB shop across from the British Museum a lot, but never bought anything except cake there).
Every weekend, the bartender in the Reading Room (a small bar off the main bar) chooses a book she likes and creates a menu of cocktails based on that book, named after lines in the book. This week was Naomi Alderman’s The Power, which I’m obliquely aware of, and the lines quoted for the cocktail names makes me want to read the book, since these lines are super evocative. I got a gin cocktail with rose and dry vermouths, while my friend got a masala chai whiskey (I think.) that was served with a flaming anise pod. The bar is decorated with books on bookshelves sorted by color, which is pretty attractive. It’s also a lending library, but I didn’t get a chance to ask more about that. I’ll have to investigate further, though, because I loved this bar and will definitely be coming back.