A place to enjoy a book and a brew

I am looking for a place in Duluth to read a book and enjoy a beer. Are there any bars/pubs that you recommend which have more of a quiet and calm atmosphere? I enjoy reading at coffee houses, but when it’s the evening I’d much prefer a beer over a coffee or tea.


Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

There probably isn't a perfect answer to this, because bars tend to be designed as social spaces. I'm not sure if I can really justify my answers, but the first options that strike me are the Wine Bar at Chester Creek, the Reef Bar, Sir Benedict's Tavern on the Lake ... maybe the Red Herring Lounge if it's a time of day when there isn't live music.

Coffee joints that also have beer are probably your best bets, like Beaner's, Iron Mug, Amazing Grace and Reg Mug, but again it should be stated that live music is probably the enemy of reading, so watch out for that.

Also, although they might not be convenient drives for you, the Moosehead Saloon at the top of Spirit Mountain or the bar at the bottom of Mont du Lac Recreation Area are good options. There will be a bit of ski-boot commotion around you, but the feeling of being at a lodge and seated near a fireplace should be conducive to reading.


about 7 years ago

I'm not a drinker,  but I'll give it a shot. Though I haven't been there yet, I think Toasty's on East 9th serves beer, it's more sandwich place than bar, so it may work. There's also At Sara's Table Chester Creek Cafe on East 8th Street... which I just realised Paul was also referring to. I too recommend his suggestion of Beaners, as long as there's no live music.

Shane Bauer

about 7 years ago

Definitely Beaner's. You'll be set there on Mondays and most Tuesdays (til 8) as well as Sunday til 7. They have their music calendar on their web site if you want to be sure.

And right now, here's their line of taps: 1 Borealis, 2 Bent Paddles (ESB and Bent Hop), 1 Castle Danger, Summit Fresh Hop and Angry Orchard cider.


about 7 years ago

The library.


about 7 years ago

I like to read and I like to drink. I also have an amazing ability to tune out extraneous noise  while reading. I recommend Sara's Table, in the bar area, and also Midi's in the bar area. Zeitgeist is cool, if you sit in the atrium area. Beaner's is wonderful too, I just rarely go there, but I can see it being excellent.

Good luck and happy reading!

Barrett Chase

about 7 years ago

1) The lounge area at JJ Astor. Comfortable seating, rotating view, and if there's a band, they're playing quiet jazz. Bonus: dessert foods like chocolate cheesecake. 

2) Sir Benedict's if you can get that one nook table. 

3) The Anchor if you can get the library table. 

4) Try a busier bar. I used to read at RT Quinlan's. I can't read in places where there's only 2-3 voices in the room. I need silence or a general murmur. 
Last, for a good bar read, I recommend the book Looking for Mr. Goodbar, which is about a woman who reads in bars.


about 7 years ago

Well, it really depends on the night that you choose. Many of the places that may be great one day will be terrible the next due to live music. 

Pretty much all my suggestions would be nullified if there was music. 

Sir Ben's is quiet enough, though not much for comfy seats. 

Tycoon's Rathskeller would be great, but it is a bit dark for reading. 

I would suggest the Anchor, but one person camping out in the library reading a book is kind of a dick move.  That spot is better for 3 people to play a game or something, but if there is nobody else in the bar why not?

Beaner's is an obvious choice.  Amazing Grace would be great as well.


about 7 years ago

Carmody would be a great place to read a book. There's a cozy nook in the back with a  woodstove and a sofa. There's even a bookshelf back there, with books in it. And there's a nice window. There's live music there some nights but it's often pretty quiet and uncrowded, especially early in the evening.


about 7 years ago

I agree with Ramos - Downtown library, all day.


about 7 years ago

I think it depends on where you live... 

East side - definitely Sara's Table. 

West side - Beaner's Central. 

Both are quiet, have friendly staff, great beer and food!


about 7 years ago

This is like three tadpoles in a two inch turd pond arguing over the best place to swim. For the record, Claire and I have finally agreed on something called Midi. Midi is like this magical place you've never heard of just below Fitgers. Or it used to be, five years ago anyway...

A friend and I went to Mexico Duluth this evening, where the youngins only come out at night, and as I was commenting on how I like to observe them in their natural state (beauty) and because they fascinate me in numerous ways, one being how oblivious they are to the rest of the world or anyone but themselves or their enclaves, that this is the defining characteristic of young people, and always has been. Heads buried in crotch, ostrich style, as time pounds onward until death do them part.

On rare occasions, you'll witness the young man or woman rising beyond their own dirty little facts of life, fucking outside the box if you will.  Salute them when you do. And bless those young surgeons of the early 19th century who went beyond the call of duty to understand the intricacies of the human anatomy.  Without them, we'd still be getting our operations at the barbershop. 

This has been another 'true-that' brought to you by Herzog.

Lawrence Lee

about 7 years ago

Early evening, 5 to 7, I'd recommend Red Herring. It's a pleasant and well lit atmosphere for reading.

I'd also recommend the Zeitgeist Atrium if there isn't an event or live music, though the solo piano wouldn't be bad. Not sure what nights the piano player is there.

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