It is a sad day for readers of New Hampshire as Portsmouth's Book & Bar is officially closing after nearly a decade.

In a Facebook post, Book & Bar shared that their last day open will be on January 28, 2024:

For over a decade Book & Bar has been more than a business; it has been a home away from home for so many people: readers, writers, thinkers, drinkers, poets, and performers. It’s been a labor of love, a project driven by passion. We’ve counted our profits not in dollars but in incalculable conversations, experiences, and relationships. Regrettably, the difficult decision to close has become unavoidable, and our last day of operation will be Sunday, January 28.

If you have never gone or do not know what Book & Bar is, well, you're missing out. It was a combination of a coffee shop, bar, restaurant, and library all in one.

Readers could check out a book and sit and enjoy a coffee or cocktail while reading. It was experiential, and that's what made it so special.

I am not a big reader. However, the concept of the Book and Bar is brilliant. I LOVE experiential dining and drinking. And I think that is what needs to stay in Portsmouth.

More importantly, I think an experiential bar is the only thing that should replace Book & Bar.

Downtown Portsmouth is missing more experiences during dining or drinking times. There are currently plenty of dining and shopping options, but the town is missing activities to accompany the dining and drinking.

The Portsmouth Feed Co., which no longer exists, used to have two pinball machines inside of the restaurant. You could have cocktails or an app while playing pinball with a group of friends or your significant other. I did this all the time, and it made the best date nights.

Dover, New Hampshire, has Tokens, an arcade bar right downtown.

That is what I am missing in Portsmouth. A bar that doubles as an activity and fun night out.

The only other place I can think of that has something along the same lines is the Portsmouth Brewery. Down in the basement of the brewery is shuffleboard and a few other dice-type games to play.

Experiential dining is the best. It entertains all, from 20 to 70-year-olds. Everyone loves to play games while being out. It's much more fun than sitting at a table talking.

So, in my opinion, the only thing to replace the experiential dining option that was once Book & Bar should be another experiential dining option. I would love to see a Tokens or arcade bar, even if it was a regular bar with a few pinball machines like the Portsmouth Feed Co., used to have.

Something FUN is needed in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I hope that when Book & Bar is out, some other type of experiential option takes its place.

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