Politics and Prose Bookstore Applies for Liquor License

by Prince Of Petworth May 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm 35 Comments

5015 Connecticut Ave, NW

Back in June 2011 Politics and Prose was purchased by new owners:

“Carla Cohen died in October 2010, and in June 2011, Politics & Prose was purchased by Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine. Brad was a longtime journalist with The Washington Post. His wife, Lissa, also worked as a Post journalist for a number of years, and then served as a speechwriter to Hillary Clinton at both the White House and the State Department.”

I hadn’t heard about any changes until now. They’ve recently applied for a liquor license:

“The nature of the business is a bookstore. Entertainment consists of poetry readings and author presentations. Food will be light, consisting of pre-packaged, ready to eat items.

Sunday 10 am – 8 pm, Monday through Saturday 9 am – 10 pm”

According to their Web site the future will:

“look for new ways to make books a popular entertainment to compete with other leisure activities. We will continue to explore links between books and travel and the arts, as well as books that help us understand ourselves and our world. We will be planning trips, meals together, movies, music, and other activities that enrich our lives.”

You can see a calendar of events here.

As books and beer are among my favorite things in life, I’m pretty psyched about this!

  • monkeyrotica

    Finally I can get f**ked up and argue about how Derrida was the worst thing to happen since Hitler.

    • KenyonDweller

      I’ve read this twice today and cracked up both times.

  • houseintherear

    I believe they’ve also recently adopted a new e-book format… not sure of the details, but it’s something that only a few indie book stores around the country have done. (correct me if I’m wrong)

  • JM

    I like P&P so I wish them well.

    But it bugs me that so much leisure activity in DC revolves around booze and drinking. I’ve never been in a place where so many people spend so much time and money getting trashed, seemingly every night.

    Just got back from a trip to Italy. There alcohol is available at every deli, coffee shop, and Mom’n’Pop kiosk. But I rarely saw anyone drinking anything other than expresso, or maybe a glass of wine with dinner. It’s a bit depressing to think of the wasted time and wasted brain cells associated with the DC lifestyle.

    • Anon


    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately (or fortunately), alcohol is just about the only surefire way for a business to be profitable in DC. Because of high rents. So a failing business like a niche bookstore has to do this in order to survive.

      • I don’t think that P&P is doing this to survive, per se. But it certainly helps them to be more popular/profitable.

        • Right. P&P has always had food downstairs, and pretty good food, too. But it’s almost more of an entertainment space than it is a bookstore. I don’t anticipate people book shopping with a beer, but I could see people sipping a glass of wine during a poetry reading (which is no different than my college poetry readings, which featured top poets and a few bottles of wine in the back of the room).

    • I’m guessing you’ve never been to London or Seoul then.

    • getoffmylawn

      this is pretty hilarious. poster must never have been to Britain.

      • anon

        I’ve never been to Tokyo, but several of my friends have. Apparently you can buy liquor in vending machines there.

        • Anonymous

          Also, it is totally accetable to drink heavily on business dinners there. The vending machines are not that prevalent but they do exist.

        • Anonymous

          Liquor AND soiled schoolgirl underwear!

    • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        what did you espect?

        • Identified


        • Anon

          A+ Would read again!

        • :)

    • Anonymous

      To quote the famous Homer … er … Simpson … “To alcohol, the cause of and the solution to all of life’s problems.”

    • Anonymous

      Public drunkeness is certainly frowned upon in certain segments of Europe but that does not mean that people aren’t privately getting smashed. It is not that they are more evolved, just maybe more discrete.

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that many adults in Italy still live with their parents.

    • Friend of Bill’s

      I know JM’s going to catch a lot of flak, but I can’t help but agree — perhaps not on the differences between DC and Italy, but certainly on the way leisure in this town so often revolves around alcohol.

      As a twenty-something and a recovering alcoholic with less than 90 days of sobriety, I can tell you it’s tough to stop, you know, killing yourself with booze in DC if you want to maintain any semblance of a social life.

      I understand why Politics and Prose is opting for a liquor license and would have been thrilled about it mere months ago, but now I’m sad to bid adieu to a place where I can go without worrying about feeling triggered to drink.

    • Anonymous

      True in your twenties but not later on in life. I am 37 and I like to drink but very few of my social functions involve people getting blotto.

  • Doug

    Will they change their name to Politics, Prose and Potent Potables?

    • Anonymous

      PoP missed this part of the story. They knew they needed a vice to stay relevant so originally they were hoping to become DC’s first legal brothel and change their name to “Politics, Prose, and Ho’s.”

      • This will be the name of my next theme party. Thank you.

      • this is the funniest comment I’ve read on PoP lately, thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Good for them! That part of town needs all the options it can get.

  • I’m sorry, I was just in Italy and people drink everywhere. Beer with lunch, glass of wine in the afternoon. The problem in DC and the US in general is that people think it’s an all or nothing approach…”oh crap, I can’t get booze somewhere else so let me down as much of it as I can, while I can.” However, it doesn’t seem to be the case here. Though I’ve gotta say, in my experience, I’ve been in DC now for almost 5 years and my lifestyle has definitely changed from the getting hammered on a Tuesday night to having a drink or two at a reception or wine with my meal. A lot of events do have booze, but beyond the early 20s crowd (and the older ones who refused to mature past their early 20s), not many people get trashed on a regular basis.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know if they’ll have happy hour specials, and what they’ll have on tap?

    Also, does this place allow board games? I have a long standing backgammon rivalry that needs a new home since I got kicked out of the bar we used to play in.


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