Lounging Around the BPL

Enjoying Cocktails at the New Map Room Tea Lounge

Enjoying Cocktails at the New Map Room Tea Lounge

We love libraries, we hope we’ve made that pretty clear. We also love tea and cocktails. As we type this , we’re celebrating the soft opening of the new Map Room Tea Lounge at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. This wonderful spot lets you indulge tea, cocktails, food, jazz music, reading and socializing - all in a library at once - so good!

Located in what was once the library’s map room, the Tea Lounge is a companion to the existing Courtyard Tea Room. The Tea Room is a more formal place for a classic afternoon repast - with scones!

The Tea Lounge, on the other hand, is a warm, darkened and friendly place brimming, on its first day, with an excited conviviality. The decor plays up the bricks and vaulted ceilings of the room’s past and features many images of maps of the Boston area.

The menu is simple and satisfying: a variety of charcuterie, smoked salmon, white beans, and even whoopie pies. You can probably imagine how good it all tastes. The cocktails all feature some sort of tea infusion. I had the Catcher in the Rye that combines rum, apple berry tea-infused rye and orange bitters (go SharpOrange!). The result was totally delicious. Adam had his signature tea cocktail, an Al-Rye-Tea (black tea, rye and honey), which the bartenders were able to concoct for him with a tea-infused whiskey.

We were able to get some client work done up in the BPL’s Bates Reading Room and then came down to be the first in line, first at the bar and first to drink at the new Tea Lounge. We also caught up with the staff about the Lounge and its opening (we joked with the bartender that our dollar bill should grace the back bar wall). Ryan Clarke, conference and marketing coordinator for The Catered Affair (the culinary management team for these rooms), was a great guide to the new location and plans for the future.

It’s super cool to see the library embracing something new here in the Tea Lounge.

The full and formal opening of the Lounge won’t be until May 21, but you don’t have to wait to check it out and enjoy. The Tea Lounge is open Wednesday-Thursday from 3pm-8:45pm, Friday-Saturday from 11:30am-4:45pm and Sunday from 1pm-4:45pm. I guess on Mondays, you can venture over to the Newsfeed Cafe for caffeine and wishes for alcohol mix-ins!

Let us know if you have a favorite library-inspired cocktail!