I’ve given another Bookstore + Bar the accolade of “one of the happiest places on Earth,” and I’m here now to say that that is a blanket statement I’m giving to all bookstores doubling as bars (and vice versa). This is because I finally visited Quill Books & Beverage in Westbrook, Maine for the first time – and a few more times after that.
Located down the road from the Westbrook library, situated in between Main St. and William Clarke Dr. (Route 25), Quill Books & Beverage could be described as a hole in the wall because of its subtle storefront. However, that description stops at the door because inside, this wonderful place is light and roomy – the back door even opens to a lovely little park. And because of its location – sandwiched between two (or three?) spaces in one building – the inside is free from the noise of traffic and other small city sounds.
This is not to say Quill Books & Beverage is void of all sound; conversations between patrons browsing shelves or sitting at the tables and the bar, and employees chatting with each other and customers add comfort to the modern space. Additionally, there are two comfortable seating areas with couches, and even a children’s play area.
The bar is beautiful and adequately sized; there is plenty of seating and you can enjoy the view of the bookstore from all angles. There is a small but satisfying selection of beer and wine, and on Independent Bookstore Day I had an outstanding maple latte. I have yet to visit during a mealtime, but from what I’ve seen their food looks fresh and delicious (I’ll update this if and when I try it myself). The menu can be found on the Quill Books & Beverage website and Facebook page.
And now for the books. When entering from the front door, there are a couple of small book displays in view. New acquisitions can be found here; browsing these books is like an excellent starter before a satisfying meal. In this case, the satisfying meal is the bookshelves on the other side of the wall. New and used books fill these shelves, which are [as one can expect] organized by subject and author. During my first visit, I admit I was a little disappointed that there were not rows and rows of shelves, but even so, Quill Books & Beverage has an excellent selection of books across genres. Bestsellers, Classics, literature, non-fiction, outdoor guides, YA Fiction, food and cookbooks – this is a bookstore for book lovers who enjoy browsing shelves for fun and are willing to let the bookstore tell them which book(s) they need.
In addition to the beverages and the books, Quill offers a great sense of community. Their calendar is full of events like trivia nights, game nights, movie nights, writing workshops, and other happenings that offer something for everyone. Are you local and need a place to take time for yourself? I recommend it. Want to put yourself out there and socialize? Definitely plan a visit. Looking for a hangout that makes you feel welcome? Drop by ASAP.
While I would never want to drive traffic away from my favorite Portland bookstore or others I love, Quill Books & Beverage offers the perfect remedy for not wanting to deal with Portland traffic and parking while still wanting that local Maine bookstore and/or bar experience. If you ever find yourself driving north on I-95 in Maine, take exit 47 and drive west for a few miles and visit Quill Books & Beverage – and don’t forget to give me a shout so I can join you.