Calling all bibliophiles: in this city, you can experience all things literary beyond the walls of a bookstore or library. We’ve rounded up a list of four places in Carmel, Indiana that have a connection to books and literature. “Bookmark” these businesses for your next adventure!
Books & Brews is a local Indianapolis franchise with a location in Carmel City Center and Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville. Walk inside and you’re greeted with shelves upon shelves of books, all of which are for sale for just $3. Books & Brews partners with Indy Reads to donate 10 percent of proceeds from every used book sale to promote adult and family literacy in Central Indiana.
After browsing the books and T-shirts adorned with fun phrases such as “I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie,” you can order one of the five flagship brews with literary names. The list includes Nancy (citra-hopped pale ale), Clifford the Irish-style Red Ale, Cream & Punishment (cream ale), Charlie and the Chocolate Milk Stout and Shogun Soba Ale (amber ale with buckwheat). The food menu is even book-themed with “prologue” (appetizer) options such as Oliver Twist (pretzel with beer cheese), “chapter” (main menu) items like the Hamlet (ham and smoked gouda sandwich) and “naan-fiction” flatbreads.
Local favorite Woodys Library Restaurant is named after the fact it once served as Carmel’s public library. Built in 1913 with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, this was one of 3,000 Carnegie libraries worldwide. The building served as library until 1970 and became Woodys Library Restaurant in 1998.
Kevin "Woody" Rider and his wife Richelle, who is also the chef, operate lunch and dinner service in the restaurant featuring upstairs dining, a downstairs neighborhood pub and an outdoor patio. Inside you’ll find library shelves featuring artwork and donated books, a nod to the building’s past.
Tina’s Traditional Old English Kitchen
Tina’s Traditional Old English Kitchen in downtown Carmel is an authentic British tearoom, owned and operated by Tina Jesson. Nothing pairs better with a book than a hot cup of tea, like Tina's popular 1776 blend. Tina also frequently hosts literary-themed events, like Sherlock Holmes murder mystery dinners, Harry Potter trivia nights, Alice in Wonderland tea parties and more. Menus are often themed around the novels and guests are encouraged to dress in costume.
Drive around and you’ll spot “Little Free Libraries” around downtown Carmel, like the one stationed outside the Museum of Miniature Houses & Other Collections. But the most unique is along the Monon Trail near the Tarkington Building, just south of Carmel City Center, the Palladium and Center Green.
The resting space features a London photo booth with book shelves inside, filled with books meant to be borrowed, shared and passed along. There are also two reading benches designated for reading and designed to look like open books. The benches feature works from Indiana authors like John Green, Kurt Vonnegut and James Whitcomb Riley.