The Library

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The LibraryThe Library
24 Ratings
The LibraryThe Library

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

2302 E Carson St
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15203-2110
United States

(412) 381-0517 | map

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Added by Ksax on 03-03-2009

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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by mtnbikerpa:
Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped into the Library last weekend while visiting downtown Pittsburgh. The menu are older books with the menu pasted inside.

It is a very nice place with 12 taps. Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale, East End Monkey Boy, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Bells Oberon were a few of the great selection. Happy Hour is everyday from 5-7pm, $3 drafts and half price munchies.

A good supply of bottles although I did not have any. The bar was large with a nice outside patio. Very clean, including the restrooms. I look forward to visiting the Library again.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of heddar33
4/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of jrb378
4.66/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Good food and about 12 micro brews on tap. One of the best happy hours in Pittsburgh which runs through the weekend.

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Photo of DanU
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of McMatt7
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of JJStorm
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of shaneous32
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

You visited this place. Write a review.

Photo of Saxboy10
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of cpxc
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Thoroughly impressed with the Library on Carson St. First time I visited the bar it was on a busy Friday evening. There was no place to sit downstairs, but was told about the upstairs "patio" section.

The beer selection was impressive as it had about 8 beers on draft, and a solid selection of cans and bottles in a cooler that you can see. The bartender was able to answer any question I had, and even printed a draft list for me. I went back a few days later on a weekday when it was much less crowded, was able to sit downstairs. Once again the staff was friendly and knowledgable. The draft beers were almost all different, and I ordered some amazing food. All their food is named after books hence the library. Great place to visit and try to go back as much as possible.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

There is a lot of stuff to choose from here. And it's a very clean bar. Very clean. Televisions on of course. What bars are there in Pittsburgh that do not have televisions on playing sports? I would like to see a list. Service is attentive. The South Side for me is kind of off limits anymore as things have gotten pretty out of control on the weekends with obnoxious and out of control jackasses. Even though the weekdays are probably calmer, I am just turned off to it anymore; at least for a while.

If you are doing a crawl, this is a good spot to hit up.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The is a cozy, quaint craft beer alternative bar on Carson Street. They are really good with hosting local beer events and just making the community more knowledgable about craft beer without pushing anyone into it. The atmosphere is what you would expect for a bar named "the library" old books, maps, decorations like that and lots of smaller nook areas that reming you of the library in a mansion. This place is actually two stories-with the second floor having a pool table and a smaller bar.

The tap list isn't as jaw dropping as what you see at say, Fatheads...but the atmosphere is much less noisy and laid back. The menu is somewhat limited, but it offers some classic american bar food-and it has all been very good in my experiences here. The bartenders are always knowledgeable at least about what they have to offer and what style it is. They have also been known to have some of the rarer beers on tap here.

This is definately worth a stop if you are out and about in Pittsburgh as it is definately one of the better beer bars and isnt far from Fatheads, Pipers, OTB, or Smokin Joes.

But don't be like me and stop there first-because though I have always loved my time here there may have been one time where I wasn't already drunk when I arrived.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Smaller craft beer bar located on the opposite side of the street from the Birmingham Bridge. Very quiet, clean and low-key for a bar on the Southside. Definitely more 'up-scale'.

Stopped in for happy hour. Nice craft beer happy hour deals. Pints were $3.00 and appetizers are half off as well. There are some other non-beer related drink specials as well.

A decent sized bar with seating for about 12-15 comfortably. There are a few tables around the bar as well. In addition, there are also tables for dining. Seating is sufficient and this area looks to be mostly people having food.

They have a decent about of craft beer. Nothing 'exotic' or 'rare' but more than enough to satisfy. They have 10 craft beers on tap and 2 macros. The craft ranged from one of my favorite brews all-time the Monkey Boy Hefeweizen from East End to Troegs, Founders, Bells, Rogue, Terrapin, Great Lakes and Great Divide.

They also have a pretty decent selection of bottles. The selection has similar breweries that are on tap but also had some Sierra Nevada, Stone, Sam Adams, Brooklyn, Sam Smith, Osker Blues and some Franzi Dunkels.

Overall, this is a quiet low-key place on the Southside. Decent selection, good prices without all the madness and crowds.

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Photo of slander
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Pittsburgh, for keg fills at East End again, and yes, I did sample, and everything, and some more than once. This far out, it'd be a shame not to take in the sights. Now navigating towards the river and over the bridge, some bridge, most any bridge really, and wandered the East Carson strip lightly. Late night at the Library, studying the beer list real hard...

It's a doublewide with the bar on one side, a 15 seat "L" shaped copper topped job painstakingly dinged with something hammerlike a billion times to mump the surface as such. Barback center holds a tall wood vertical shelving unit over a wider unit below with tiered booze. Doublewide glass front cooler to one side holding bottled selections, 5 dozen or so, and books & bottles atop and other things. On the other side, horizontal coolers with glassware above, and a wall mounted box shelving with a whole lot of pinnacle bottles, whatever the fuck they are. Oh, flavored vodkas, yeah, whatever. Flatscreens mounted to both sides of center, and a happy hour board up front. Some corner shelving with books and another in the corner over my shoulder, with a mocked up tin foil Stanley cup. To the rear, darts & some sort of poser Phil's golf game.

Tall vertical windows up front with smaller arched pieces above. There's probably a name for that. Strung 1,000,000 legged lighting strung along the entrance vestibule and windows, each with a glowing neon. Track spots over the bar, drop bell lamp trios up front and buttercup chandelier lampinings over the hightops behind me, another 2 raised roundies up front. Lino & wood floors, and a ceiling with a pressed dynamic but it may just be papered. Okay, this is definitely the case. A brick back otherwise and throughout, and some white walls over panel wood lowers. Brick pillar cut throughs and window peek-a-boos to the other side room; a dozen tables topped with newsprint or book pages or old maps there. A fireplace on the far wall with books on its mantle, mounted saucer lamps, light art, and paintings here and there.

Upstairs, a single pool table with a small bar & bar counters to the rear. Side room with 8 tables and access to a rear rear patio from there. Book shelf pieces dot the upper floor, and books lie stacked about.

And back barside, 4 stand up copper towers of 3 each (That would be 12 in all there, super sleuth). Craft from local hero (East End Monkey Boy Hefe), a player from down the road some (Troegs Dead Reckoning), west and west of west (Founders Centennial IPA, Bells Oberon & Best Brown, Great Divide Hercules Double IPA, Thirsty Dog Octoberfest, Terrapin Hop Karma IPA, Rogue Shakespeare Stout, Michigan Screaming Pumpkin), and some crap macs (Blue Moon, Coors Light). I drank the Bells Oberon (wonderful, as usual) and Best Brown (not the best Brown, no, but still very good).

And 6 dozen bottles, 42 American craft and 19 imports. The American craft list is roughly a 50/50 split between local/regional (Penn, Full Pint, Troegs, Victory, Weyerbacher, Great Lakes, Hoppin' Frog, DogFishHead) and not (Bells, Founders, 21st Amendment, Atwater, Blue Point, Oskar Blues, Brooklyn, Duck Rabbit, Rogue, Sam Adams, Boulder, Sierra Nevada, Southern Tier, Stone, Terrapin). Nothing too terribly crazy on the import side (Rochefort 8 & 10, Chimay Blue, Delirium Tremens & Nocturnum, Samuel Smith Nut Brown & Oatmeal Stout, Franziskaner Weisse & Dunkel, Unibroue La Fin Du Monde), but some solid options just the same.

Food menus are pasted inside books thereby forcing you to pick up a book (you illiterate bastard). I got "the night before Christmas". Oh, it's $8, all you can eat wings night. I will engage. Started with the dry rub, which were unpleasantly all crazily bready, and not, you know, very good. I will try again, this time the garlic parmesan, and they score a meh. They got the better end of this deal.

It's a fairly chill joint. I just heard Jigsaw Falling into Place. I'm singing along, but like, on the inside. Good crowd, this time and the last. Beer seems to rotate through pretty well and the selection works fine, but the foodings, not so much, mind you they were just wings. I do like the "Let's go Penns" signage, as if...

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Photo of irishevans
4.08/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

An interesting bar. only passed through the downstairs part of the place but looked alright, albeit kind of typical of a nicer Carson St. bar. the upstairs however is real nice. one little room with the bar, that has no stools, with ledges around the room , then the room with the pool table, then the room that looks like a study in a mansion. large leather sofa, several tables, book shelf with books to read, and the food menus are in the front few pages of the books. the crowd however, seems a bit elitist/hipster. you know the kind that go to such a place not so much to drink good beer in a comfy enviroment, but to be SEEN drinking what they precive to be good beer (while having no palate) while reading works from whoever the latest "non-conformist" favorite author is, and said hipster asses kinda kill a bit of the vibe (though the staff makes up for it).

as for the quality. the quality of selection is very very good, and this is likely the least expensive place on the south side to build your own 6-pack.

the staff are much more real than the usual escaped from upper st.clair or fox chapel borough to the "city" hipster type patrons. they know their beer, and they know how to help those who need it find what they like, and they really seem to enjoy talking about beer, local sports, music, or whatever comes up with a patron who is actually there for the beer. much props to the staff here, without them it would be just "too cool", or perhaps "too hip" a place to stomach.

the selection is awesome. they rotate the taps constsantly (like a few times a day I was told) with the exception of one. they are big fans of Scott's work here (East End Brewing) and won't take whatever of his they have tapped off until the keg is kicked. and what they have aside from his masterpieces are also great beers, and I'm pretty sure if you want budmiloors you have to get a can or bottle, but I don't recall even seeing those in bottles.

all in all, if you can ignore the self-loathing yuppies in denial, and deal just with who you go with and the staff, this place is awesome.

(heard the food was incredible, and cleverly named. but didn't eat here)

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Love going to this place for one the happy hour is a mere 3 dollars a pint and runs from 5-7 and 9-11 and two they have all you can eat wings every Tuesday for only 8 bucks. Awesome.

Their bottle selection is rather small but most prices are reasonable for bar prices. Most of the beers on tap are pretty good. I remember getting a Heavy Seas smoke on the water, Great Divide Rumble, and even Rouge Shakespeare stout on Nitro for a mere three dollars, can't beat that!

I have no idea what their regular beer prices are but I guess to compete they would have to be under 5 bucks so if you stay longer than happy hour it will not get to pricey.

I love their wings and you can get your fill on Tuesdays. They have hot flavors like Dante's Inferno, along with dry rubs, honey and even some pretty nice BBQ. Especially enjoyable during the happy hour.

Very nice bar on the south side that I really have to make time in going to again someday.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I finally made it to the library, we used to shoot nine ball across the street at Shootz Cafe' but every time I'm in that place I get the since that there's going to be a shooting there. It was a Monday night and we already had a beer at Rivertowne Pourhouse and Fathead's, stopped in at Smokin' Joe's for a bottle of SN 30th Anniversary. Made here by 10:30 to catch the last half hour of happy hour. They had Stone IPA, Southern Tier IPA, West Coast DIPA. I stuck with the Southern Tier throughout the night it was drinking so nice. I got a bottle of Hoppin Frog Hop Dam to go for like 14 bucks, I guess that's comparable to bottle shop pricing. Although the tap selection was rather small I felt it was well though out and nicely selected. This place had a great vibe and we hung out here until closing time, even caught the half off appetizers which were huge, my pal Chad and I split the hummus and the sliders. Jeff was bartending nice guy quick with the refills, good experience overall. I liked the layout and the chilled out library theme, the upstairs was great with the pool table and nice open areas, I'm sad I missed out on the BA gathering here. It's hard to beat the happy hour on the food and drink here, pints for 3 bucks is a bit insane in the city.

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Photo of Stigs
4.08/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Slowly nudged its way into my happy hour rotation list. It doesnt get too crowded, and the large amount of windows give it a nice open party atmosphere, as well as being non-smoking save for the upstairs deck is very nice. There is also a great happy hour $3 all drafts which we take advantage of a good bit.

Had been here a few times before, my company hosts its Christmas party there for the past two years and it has always been fun. I love that the space is very open, wide and with ample-seating at tables and bar (rarity around here).

Service has always been a notch above "good". Waiters/Waitresses are quick to take orders and serve even when there is a crowd.

The beer selection is always decent with some staple micros but usually one or two taps of something special, and they have a few bottles of things you dont normally see (last week they had a few Founder's Nemesis in the fridge).

I have only sampled their bar/appetizer food, and its mediocre as expected for that fare. Overall, its one of the better places on the Southside to hangout.

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

While in town to pick up Gratitude, Glowczewski and I decided to stop by the Library for the Pittsburgh BA gathering.

Atmosphere: The bar is large, with two levels. The biggest draw are the huge windows that add an inordinate amount of light in. A long bar on the first floor greets you on entrance with setting arrayed around the rest of the floor. Upstairs, a small bar and larger room await with a pool table. Looks like there was even a third level.

Quality: Mid-day on a Saturday, so the place wasn't too busy. Kevin, a manager, greeted up promptly. Bar staff was friendly. Bathrooms were clean.

Service: The BA gathering was a self-serve affair but I did order an Oak Aged Wake n Bake from downstairs. I stood around for a few minutes before the bartender checked back in, but not a dealbreaker.

Selection: Looked like 6-8 taps and a spread of bottles. East End had a tap, as did the aforementioned Oak Aged WnB. Prices were competitive, slightly lower than other places in town.

Food: The gathering had a wide selection of finger food that matched the menu. Decent but I didn't spend much time on the food, hence N/A.

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Photo of JamesS
3/5  rDev -25.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4

Decent place, although not as "bookish" as I thought it would be. Much too late and not near enough books around to really make it feel like a library.

Good beer selection, and the menu looked fine even though I didn't try it. It's good to see a bar with such a nice variety of craft brews, but it wasn't any better than several other places on the south side.

Service started horrible, the waitress/bartender didn't give us a blink for a few minutes as she was busy chatting up someone else. When you only have one or two customers, is it really that hard to serve every one in a timely manner?

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Photo of johannasclimacus
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

This is a great place to stop by on the South Side. Maybe I'm used to paying 5 dollars for a draft of any craft beer in the Pittsburgh area, but their special during Happy Hour (5-7 PM) is hard to beat: anything on draft for 3 bucks, and a dollar off anything from the bar. The tap list isn't mind-blowing, but they still have some quality stuff. When I was there, my friend got Nugget Nectar, which is a great deal for 3 bucks! I ended up getting bottles of two beers I was looking for (Founders Red's Rye PA and Victory Old Horizontal), but overall it was a great experience.

Service was great, although the place was almost empty when we got there, so I'm sure that helps. My friend's fiancee has been there before when it was busy, and she said the service wasn't as good, but our experience was great. Knowledgeable staff who also make an effort to keep the good stuff coming: both food and beer. I was having all you can eat wings (for just 5 bucks! I think only on Mondays) and was asked for my next order well before I was finished, which left ample time for another fresh, excellent batch to be cooked.

Overall, I am very pleased with the Library and will be going back when I have the money to spend (I'm a "poor" college student) during Happy Hour especially for these specials. It's a nice break from a place like Fathead's, which, although always excellent, can get pricey. If you go, I also recommend trying the sweet potato fries. The Thai wings are indeed amazing, but I liked the Cajun wings even more.

The atmosphere was really cool, as the other reviewer mentioned. One final thing I will try to hit on is the selection, since I know many people like to read reviews for this. They had about 10-12 taps of stuff, with only one crappy macro (Coors Light). Besides the Nugget Nectar, I remember a Founders Irish ale being on, and another beer from Victory. Bottle selection was pretty good, with most of the usual suspects from around the Mid-Atlantic area. Several from Victory, Troegs, Great Lakes etc. If you are from Pittsburgh, you will mostly know what to expect and probably won't find anything unique here. With that said, I highly recommend checking this place out during Happy Hour for a great deal and good food.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The Library's located in "new old Southside," right next to the Birmingham Bridge Tavern. It's got a cool vibe emulating (duh) a library, with a literary-themed menu, down to crafting the actual menus out of old books. My wife & I thrill to the decor -- she's a connoisseur of vintage books & loves the feel of the place. Lest you think this place is for bookworms, the bar side is more traditional Sahside fun.

I was impressed by the beer selection, with some well-known craft brews, big bottles, & good seasonals. On last visit I had my first DFH Theobroma, the time before a Southern Tier Pumking. Not a massive, mind-blowing list, but definitely a quality one.

The service has always been good, & I've gotten into beer-talk with servers on occasion. With one passable exception, I've found the food to be really good. For wing fans, the Thai wings were possibly the best I've ever had.

The slightly higher prices prevent me from making this a regular go-to spot, but for a combination of good food & good beer on a special occasion, The Library makes the short list.

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The Library in Pittsburgh, PA
Place rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 24 ratings