Dallas: Retreat in Cozy Elegance to the Library Bar

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The Library Bar at the Melrose on Oak Lawn is like stepping back in time.
The Library Bar at the Melrose on Oak Lawn is like stepping back in time.

Photo Credit: The Landmark Restaurant

“Shall we go to the library for a drink?”

The question has been asked in a thousand European manor houses, wealthy Victorian homes, and movies but here in Dallas it has a totally different meaning because it requires a drive, a quick conversation with the valet, and finally entering into the elegant foyer of the Melrose Hotel on Oak Lawn. A drink at the Library Bar is like stepping back in time to 1924 when the hotel was built.

Beautiful and Elegant

We were invited to the Melrose in 2008 during its extensive renovations and there was no area of the hotel that got more attention than the library bar. The 700,000.00 bar restoration included a beautifully crafted lapis lazuli bar which would be awe-inspiring no matter where it was located but it fits perfectly into the ambiance of the Library. The bar is perhaps even more beautiful now, almost ten years later, than it was when we first saw it, polished by years of people running their hands of the cool, smooth surface.

The bar is made from lapis lazuli and is uniquely beautiful.
The bar is made from lapis lazuli and is uniquely beautiful.

Photo Credit: The Landmark Restaurant

The bar is decorated, like the rest of the hotel, in Jazz Age glamor that is modified by the warm colors, leather chairs, and shelves of books on the walls. It is, after all, the library. When you walk in you are immediately enveloped in cozy elegance that wraps around you like a warm quilt, making it the perfect retreat for processing a difficult day. At the same time it is as romantic as an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel and quiet enough for intimate conversation with that special someone at one of the candlelit tables despite the fact that it’s a piano bar. If anything the entertainment adds to the ambiance.

Whether you are coming with a crowd or want intimate seating Library Bar has just the spot.
Whether you are coming with a crowd or want intimate seating Library Bar has just the spot.

Photo Credit: Landmark Restaurant

Cheers!

The cocktails are, as you might expect, classic and well made. We are partial to the Aviation which is made with gin, Creme de Violet, maraschino liqueur, a splash of lemon juice, and simple syrup — such a gorgeous color. You really can’t go wrong with any of the cocktails, though. Each is expertly prepared.  There is a bar menu and we’d recommend the Duck Wings with Thai BBQ Sauce. It’s the most sophisticated version of wings we’ve ever had — mind blowing. There’s just no other way to explain it. Try it.

You can probably get away with a nice pair of jeans but there are so many other places in DFW to go casual that we suggest going all out and playing the part with your favorite after-five attire. You’ll be glad you did.

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