Books and Booze at Riffraff

Good reads and clever cocktails come together at the city's brand new bookstore bar


There’s nothing better than a good book and a better drink (or maybe it’s the other way around). Enter Riffraff, the bookstore bar that opened at The Plant in Olneyville.

“It’s kind of a perfect marriage,” says Emma Ramadan, who, along with co-owner Tom Roberge, was looking for a bookstore bar that gave equal stage time to each of the main attractions: books and drinks. “We wanted to build a bar that still felt like a bar, but was quiet enough that you could sit by yourself and read,” says Emma.

The space is hip and cozy, with a bar stocked with local brews, spirits and snacks, and bookshelves lined with paperbacks. Expect to find contemporary political and philosophical works and hard-to-find classics alongside fiction, including work by Providence-based writers. “We’re focusing on what makes sense here and what makes sense in the community,” says Tom. “Not your typical courtroom thriller.”

Down the road they plan to host events, like readings and book clubs. In the meantime, tell my wife she can find me there catching up on Raymond Chandler mysteries and whiskey.