It’s edifying just sitting in a library, as though one can absorb knowledge just by being in its presence. Builds up quite an appetite, too, but there will be a stern glance over the top of the librarians spectacles coming the way of anyone who tucks into lunch at the reading tables – apparently a ketchup fingerprint is not an acceptable method of marking your page. The Library at The Public Theatre, New York, is one in which eating and drinking is encouraged though, and talking isn’t frowned upon either.
Usually the only thing we read in a restaurant is the menu, the bill, and the occasional Tweet when our companions are freshening up, and although the contents of the shelves around the dining area at The Library are props, they are a darned sight more intellectual than a typical specials menu blackboard. Rockwell Group‘s mezzanine bar and lounge demands a certain level of decorum with its upmarket brown leather and heavily grained dark tables. A patina on everything from the furnishings to the steel beams and columns that impose themselves in the centre of the room give the sense of an august establishment, and the low ceilings make for a snug environment. The Library is part of a larger renovation of the theatre on Lafayette Street, and is sure to be drawing positive notices for its refined ambience.