Inside the Library of Distilled Spirits

With 1,000 spirits on offer, Greenwich Village’s newest lounge is sure to have options for everyone. Located adjacent to the Hyatt Hotel Union Square, the Library of Distilled Spirits is the result of a passion for cocktails, hospitality and history.

“We’re spirits nerds, and we just wanna have cool stuff to share with people,” says beverage director Kyle Tran; Dushan Zaric of Employees Only is one of the partners of the space. “We wanted to provide a place where anybody from any demographic could come in and feel comfortable,” he continues. “There’s product there for you, from the most rare allocated Japanese whiskies, to just the scotch that your granddad used to drink.”

The lounge features nearly 1,000 spirits, on display in the space’s custom 16- by 20-foot floor-to-ceiling library wall. The menu offers the common — Jameson; Johnnie Walker — to the more obscure, such as old Chartreuses from the mid-1800s. Prices for beverages range accordingly — for example, rare Japanese whiskies go as high as $500 for a 2-oz. pour.

“The goal for us is preserving a piece of history. These things don’t exist anymore,” Tran says. “We’re going to start picking up really rare allocated bottles, things that generally aren’t in production anymore, just so we can showcase that.”

Guests who wish to dive into the history of spirits can peruse the Library’s encyclopedia, which will catalogue every spirit on the premises along with information on each spirit’s technical production and cultural significance. A more curated menu will feature around 150 cocktails — classic and original — divided by spirit category, and a one-page seasonal cocktail menu is available for those overwhelmed by option.

Despite all the talk about booze, Tran stresses that the Library is driven by the idea of hospitality.

“We’re here to make sure that everybody who comes in here leaves at least 1 percent happier, if not more,” he adds. “If everybody doesn’t leave happier than when they came in, then we failed.”

One thing is for sure: every guest will certainly be among good spirits.

Library of Distilled Spirits
80 13th Street, New York, N.Y.

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