The Library Bar

A swish bar with a gentleman’s club vibe

There’s a real sense of intrigue about this place during the day, with the huge velvet curtains drawn and the temptation to take a sneak peek at what lies behind them almost too hard to resist.

When The Abu Dhabi EDITION did its own great reveal, The Library Bar was just one of a clutch of features aimed at attracting a super stylish clientele. The oak-panneled spot has an upmarket, exclusive feel, and operates as the perfect partner to the Oak Room restaurant across the hall. But, despite first appearances, this place is anything but stuffy. Like the rest of the hotel, simplicity and charm are key here.

The gentlemen’s club vibes extend to the smartly dressed staff and the list of classic mixed drinks. But look a little deeper and you’ll find a sense of playfulness in the menu, evident in the conconctions put together by the expert bartenders.

As is the case with the Al Bateen hotel’s other venues, British chef Tom Aikens has been hands on in the development of the menu, and the bar snacks are textbook Aikens (although we’ll have to return to sample the likes of crispy calamari and a rather fancy sounding hot dog, as we’re checking it out after dinner at the steakhouse across the way).

It’s the perfect spot for an after-meal digestif and although it’s quiet on our visit, we’ll put that down to news of the hotel still getting out there.
This isn’t a place that likes to scream about what they’re doing, a more understated cool underpins proceedings. However, we’re joined by a few more couples we recognise from the dining room. Hopefully more people will soon head here for the bar alone. It deserves more custom for sure.

Taking a stool at the bar reminds us of Jack Nicholson sipping drinks at the Overlook Hotel but, you know, without the spooky bartender from
The Shining (indeed, the staff here are really excellent). Instead we sink into a comfortable armchair and let our mild food coma kick in.

With a soundtrack of old soul and funk playing, we could sit here for hours and enjoy the music. Prices aren’t prohibitively expensive, either, and serious hops fans will want to check out the various craft options we haven’t seen anywhere else in the capital, too.

It might be called The Library Bar, but, whisper it, this place is worth shouting about.

A swish bar with a gentleman’s club vibe

To relax in the leather chairs and sample the mixed drinks


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