Book and Bar photo


We are a unique blend of bookstore, cafe, music venue and bar for downtown Portsmouth. We offer highly selective remainder and used titles and host live music, poetry, and community events. Our vision for Portsmouth couples all this with a cafe serving espresso, beer, wine, cocktails, baked goods and small plates all amongst a literary salon. We encourage you to relax inside or on our beautiful patio while sipping a beverage of your choice and of course, reading a book.

The concept was originally created by three gentlemen who collectively had over 75 years of experience owning bookstores and cafes in New England. They restored one of the most historic spaces in downtown Portsmouth—the Custom House—and gave it an old world, defiantly non-digital ambiance—an old fashioned browser's bookshop with the intent of offering more. They built the shelves, the bar, and the kitchen, handpicked the titles and created delicious food daily. We are grateful for their knowledge and experience of books and music to provide us with such a wonderful business base. With the current owner, David Pelletier’s passion for community and knowledge of business and hospitality we will continue to provide Portsmouth with a place where creativity and conversation thrive in a beautiful, intimate setting.

Book & Bar is a place where all ages can feel welcome and come together as there is something for everyone to enjoy. Perhaps you’re visiting on holiday and want to browse the books with a beer in hand, maybe you’re a regular for our weekly open mic and monthly Beat Night Poetry or maybe it’s just a chilly Monday and you want to play chess and drink delightful hot chocolate with friends. Whether it’s your favorite mobile office spot, the soup of the day or the band that’s playing that draws you in; we welcome you all.

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    SUN 11AM – 10PM   •  MON  11AM – 10PM  •  TUE & WED  CLOSED   •  FRI & SAT 10AM – 1AM