Cookbook Bar & Café fuels downtown study sessions

Anna-Kay Reeves

You’ve most likely read “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but have you had a Tequila Mockingbird? Thanks to Cookbook Bar & Café, Austin Central Library is your one stop shop for both.

Cookbook Bar & Café, which opened in June, is a restaurant, bar and café connected to Austin Central Library. With a floor to ceiling wall full of cookbooks and a drink menu composed of literary puns, Cookbook is the perfect place for foodie bookworms and hungry students alike.

“I remember being in college and getting hungry when I went out to study,” Cookbook manager Reilly Wyman said. “I always used it as an excuse to go home.” Wyman said Cookbook fills a need within the student population by making food available without having to leave Austin Central Library’s study resources.

“The space is designed to be interactive and fun in a way most restaurants or cafés aren’t,” Wyman said. “Our food menu is made up of recipes from the cookbooks we have here in the room, so if you order something and really like it, it’s just a matter of finding it in the book and you can make it at home.”

With close proximity to the library and easy portability, Cookbook’s food has all the right ingredients for a winning study day recipe.

“The library allows people to get food to-go from here and actually take it into the library,” Wyman said. “It’s a game changer when it comes to studying, and now we have a coffee cart up on the roof.”

The rooftop coffee cart is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.

According to fellow Cookbook manager Aric Archinal, that caffeine is a major resource that Cookbook offers students.

“We see a lot of students come in for marathon study sessions, and they’re just falling asleep,” Archinal said. “They don’t have to do that. We’re here and they can come in, get some coffee, and keep getting work done.”

Apart from the fuel of food and coffee, Cookbook also offers a pleasant atmosphere.

“This isn’t just prepackaged grab-and-go-stuff,” Archinal said. “We’re happy to pack our food up, but a lot of people don’t realize we’re a full restaurant where you can get a high-caliber hot meal.”

For those 21 and up, Cookbook also offers a full bar with cider and beer on tap, as well as a literary-themed cocktail menu. The $10 cocktails include “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Adventures of Huckleberry Gin” and “A Cocktail of Two Cities.” Don’t hold the cleverness.

Despite being a 20 minute bus ride from campus, the Austin Central Library holds appeal for many UT students. For international relations sophomore Paige Johnson, it’s precisely that distance from the Main Tower that gives Central Library its appeal.

“Central Library is a fantastic study spot that allows students to step off campus into the heart of Austin,” Johnson said. “It’s a place to come and get your work done but also be part of the Austin community.”

Johnson said the library is a place worth visiting even if reading for pleasure doesn’t fit into your schedule.

“The building itself is beautiful,” Johnson said. “But even beyond the architecture, it’s a great place to come because of the resources it offers from technology to comfortable collaborative study spaces. Plus, now there’s food and drinks.”

For a food and drinks study session, Cookbook Bar and Café is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with brunch available on weekends.