Portsmouth Book and Bar nearing completion

70% of the books are now on the shelves and the interior furniture arrives in a few days. In a week or so, everything should be finished and the only thing left is waiting for the final inspections from the city and the permit from the Sta

te. We apologize for the seemingly slow progress. The construction process was a lot larger than we anticipated originally. But the final result will be a much more amazing space than we could have hoped for. This photo doesn’t do justice to the space.
john petrovato

Local newspaper review of the soon to open Portsmouth Book and Bar

Portsmouth Book and Bar to Open in Two Weeks

John Strymish, one of owners, says they are shooting for Nov. 22.

The owners of the Portsmouth Book and Bar cafe on Pleasant Street say they plan to open for business on Nov. 22.
Portsmouth Book and Bar owners have already stockpiled lots of books and book cases inside the Pleasant Street cafe.
Inside the Portsmouth Book and Bar, there is one long book case that spans an entire wall filled with books.
Work to restore and refurbish historic crown mouldings above the Portsmouth Book and Bar bar area and elsewhere has been completed.
Here is what the lighting above the Portsmouth Book and Bar looks like located above the bar.
If everything goes as planned, the owners of the Portsmouth Book and Bar cafe say they will open for business in two weeks on Nov. 22.

It’s been about four months since John Strymish and his two other business partners began renovating the former Customs House building on Pleasant Street for the new Portsmouth Book and Bar cafe.

On Thursday afternoon, Strymish said they will open for business in two weeks on Nov. 22, just before Thanksgiving Day weekend. Strymish said they have completed all of the most challenging interior design, electrical and plumbing related work. Now they have to secure their New Hampshire liquor license and obtain their city inspection permits over the next two weeks.

He said the rest of the interior work to set up the new book store and cafe is pretty basic. In the rear portion of the new business are several bookcases filled with books flanked by one long book case that stretches along the entire wall.

A great deal of work has been done on the bar area and all of the historic crown mouldings and columns have been restored and painted.

When all of the work is completed inside the 2,800 square foot space, Strymish believes their patrons are going to love it. The timing of their opening at the beginning of the holiday season should also work in their favor, he believes.

In September, David Lovelace, one of the owners, said patrons will be able to order a glass of wine, a pint of beer, coffee and menu items such as small plates of cheese and fruit, salads, sandwiches and soups prepared by Chef Amy Mehaffey.

Strymish said then they also plan to hire 8 to 10 part- and full-time employees to operate the new book store/restaurant.

Lovelace said then patrons will be able to browse books as they do in other book stores, but they can also sit and visit with their friends in what the owners hope will be a unique atmosphere that preserves much of the ornate historic crown mouldings that were part of the original building constructed in 1850.

Portsmouth Book and Bar’s Fiction is up

 Books are finally getting on the shelves.  A few days we put up 2500 novels on the shelves. Only 12500 books left to organize before we open. Portsmouth Book and Bar should be open mid- November, 2012.