Thompson’s Bookstore is a two in one treat! When we first arrived to Thompson’s we loved the interior but were disappointed we didn’t actually go through the bookcase to the bar, it was just a walk in. The decor is eclectic vintage furniture set among a Tudor manor study styled room, very classic while remaining relaxed. Come to find out we were too early for the actual speakeasy! But from the outside you still wouldn’t know this was a bar so Thompson’s gets counted as two speakeasies in our book, one underground much more secret than the first.
To get downstairs you need to be able to solve the riddle of the week listed on their socials; we had to determine who Buffalo Bill really was. Once you know the answer the bookshelf will be opened and access granted! The lower bar is an grungy antique pharmacy themed apothecary where separated booths, tables, and couches allow for groups to have their own space and enjoy each other’s company comfortably. Honestly, we preferred the atmosphere upstairs better than downstairs, but the trip getting downstairs was definitely worth it.
Drink menus are the same upstairs and down. We had more drinks than normal which tells me automatically they were delicious! For visiting in March, it was surprising they still had a “fall” themed menu that was just about to swap over to spring, but with COVID I think everything is off kilter on the timeline. I was very excited because my favorite drink of the night was the Pumpkin King- a brandy based cocktail with baked apple bitters and cinnamon syrup among other intricate ingredients, topped with a charred marshmallow. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Calvin & Hobbes- a peanut butter and jelly inspired cocktail, The Mind Flayer- a bourbon base with citrus and spice notes, and the Vision of Juliette- a liquid thin mint as they described it (also with a toasted marshmallow, the best part!). There were too many delicious looking drinks to choose from! It is an extensive menu which is great for a local bar that you can visit over and over.
Thompson’s Bookstore was expected to be a kitschy and basic “through the bookshelf” speakeasy, but it genuinely isnt. While there is a secret bookshelf door, nothing else is standard. And it wasn’t even the shelf we expected to open! Thompson’s sets itself apart from other classically vintage hidden bars by retaining a sense of relaxed freedom and mixing both the laid back library feel upstairs with the uniquely weird medical vibe underground.
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