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Can anyone in Chicago tell me where this is?
Looks like somewhere on Lake Street, but I'm not sure.

Posted by Scott in Chi-town | October 15, 2008 1:57 PM

That place looks all kinds of awesome.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 15, 2008 1:58 PM

I still have a tattered hardcover copy of collected Oscar Wilde stories that I snatched from a shelf in a chain restaurant in Savannah,Georgia back in my college days.

I think that Oscar would agree that Sarah Palin is a peacock in everthing but beauty.

Posted by bucket | October 15, 2008 2:03 PM

I would not be able to pass that bar without going in. Someone would literally have to hold me back, it looks that tempting to me.

Posted by Mikki | October 15, 2008 2:06 PM

I was hoping this place was like our Canterbury, but instead, it's just some lame-ass, tourist trap, Epcotish, twee, faux bullshit bar...

Posted by michael strangeways | October 15, 2008 2:07 PM

@1 It's on Lake in between Franklin and Wells, on the south side of the street. I work about 2 blocks from there, and it's one of my favorite post-work meet-up spots.

They also do the thing where there are bowls of peanuts and you just drop the shells on the floor. It was a little weird to get used to at first, given that it doesn't really seem like a "shells on the floor" kind of place...

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 15, 2008 2:08 PM

205 W. Lake St, Scott.

Posted by Joseph J. Finn | October 15, 2008 2:12 PM

Using books as decoration sends a better message than using, say, the heads of murdered animals, or tacky beer swag. And they keep telling me that surrounding my 3 month old with books and reading them to him, even though the words are not understood, communicates that books are important and shit.

Posted by elenchos | October 15, 2008 2:13 PM

@5. It's not really a tourist trap. It's sort of out of the way and not in an area where many tourist go, actually (it's on the north side of the financial district).

But, lame-ass for cutting the books in half, yes. That seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to for decor/anti-theft purposes....

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 15, 2008 2:15 PM

@1: Indeed it is on Lake street, just west of Wells, I believe. I went there once on a whim and it was a nice discovery - great atmosphere (then again, I never tried to read the books there), a just-the-right-level-of-surly-yet-friendly bartender, and a floor littered with the shells of the peanuts that are served up - at least to us that night - free.

I went back a couple months ago to find the place closed - lights off, grate over the door - at 10pm on a weeknight, and assumed it had gone under. It's nice to know they're still around, albeit with operating hours I've yet to decipher.

Posted by David | October 15, 2008 2:15 PM

Oooh, that makes me so mad I don't even know what to say. Destroy a book so no one will steal it? Arrgh. There's so much wrong with that ...

Although, I have to admit that if it was *Augusten* Burroughs, I don't think I'd mind so much.

Posted by SeaExile | October 15, 2008 2:16 PM

Lame. Who really cares if the books get taken? At least they're being read.

If you're worried about theft, buy a bunch of cheap-ass remainders at a Friends of the Library booksale to replace whatever ones get stolen. If you're really anal, paint a yellow stripe on the spine of each one and tell the local used bookstores about it.

Posted by Greg | October 15, 2008 2:18 PM

at #7: Gracias!

Posted by Scott in Chi-town | October 15, 2008 2:30 PM

Dan you are such a Gay man, it's all about what the OUTSIDE tells you. Never ever look deeper than the outside...

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | October 15, 2008 2:51 PM

Damn Dan, I was just about to go to Monk's for lunch yesterday, but ended up stuck on a conf calls.

Lemme know if you're still in town, and I'll take you to a really Skeezy burger joint tomorrow.

P.S. Monk's rocks, btw... :-)

Posted by Smokes | October 15, 2008 2:51 PM

Like the Blue Moon, only we don't cut our books in half.

Posted by Jason Josephes | October 15, 2008 2:53 PM

@ 9 & 12 - I agree. Wouldn't it have been easier to have full-size bookshelves, and get cheap/free books (donated by patrons, excess inventory being sold/dumped by libraries, etc.)? Then they wouldn't care if some got pilfered. It would be like the corner store's equivalent of "take a penny, leave a penny."

Posted by RS | October 15, 2008 3:01 PM

Google's offices in California have a ton of these faux-bookshelves up, except there they only have the spines of books glued to the wall, all victims of slice-and-scan processing for Google books.

At least those are readable somewhere.

Posted by Chip | October 15, 2008 3:06 PM

They Will Know We Are Book Rapists...

Posted by michael strangeways | October 15, 2008 3:15 PM

I wanna see a picture of your brother.

Posted by crazycatguy | October 15, 2008 3:32 PM

This reminds me: I kinda want to steal that book of Japanese plays at the U Village Crate & Barrel.

Posted by Greg | October 15, 2008 4:09 PM

The book-cut-in-half thing and the notion of books as display items is a cool thing, but really, *what* makes it seem all skeezy again? The exterior of the building is very cool, and clearly consciously styled that way.

Skeezy bars, to me, aren't the ones that have been painted and styled to look like faux swiss chalets or faux english country houses, but are the ones (like, say, the awesome Comet) that are anonymously bland outside, with windows that are hard to see in... or are in the bad part of town and have narrow gun-slit windows filled with old neon signs, three kinds of mismatched siding, and plywood knocked up over a gaping hole somewhere. The ones that show clear signs of no regular maintenance or repairs. The ones that have old rusty (but drivable) El Caminos in the parking lot.

What, again, makes Monk's look skeezy? It almost looks like a bar that you'd find in Disneyland (if Disneyland had bars...)

Posted by dr_awesome | October 15, 2008 7:18 PM

i hope they have finnegan's wake.

Posted by tobes | October 15, 2008 8:38 PM

As Gloria Upson says in "Auntie Mame", "Books! They're so decorative!"

Posted by inkweary | October 16, 2008 12:18 PM

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