You’ve all seen her. Cathy Thompson is one hard working lady behind the bar at The Library. It’s no doubt one of the reasons The Library has won People’s Choice for Best Bar in Cape Girardeau County three years in a row. It’s also no doubt she is here to stay.
One of the things that is most striking about The Library is the ambiance. It has a very upscale feel that is warm and inviting, at a price point that won’t break the bank. As such, The Library has the distinct advantage of appeal across all ages, 21 and up. In fact, that was part of the goal that Cathy had in mind for the bar.
When her kids were in college and she would come to visit from St. Louis she would find that there was nowhere for the adults to hang out. She said, “Most of the bars in this town didn’t open until 9p.” She felt that Cape Girardeau was a great town, but it was definitely lacking something in the adult scene. She said, “Don’t get me wrong, I love the college kids. I’m in business with the college kids. But I felt there needed to be a place for adults too. Especially a place the ladies would feel comfortable”.
When the housing market fell apart in 2008, Cathy who at the time was working in real estate, felt the pinch of changing times. It was a natural progression for her to make the leap to bar ownership. She knew she found an industry that would weather the storm of changes in an uncertain economic landscape. She loves the feel in Cape Girardeau and is very much at home here. She said what really makes this town special is the people. She said, “The people make it feel like home. And just being in a small town, you get to know the people, the people get to know you”.
One thing you may not know is that there is a full menu at The Library. There is the traditional bar fare plus some not so traditional items such as scotch eggs, spring salads, baked fish and gourmet stuffed burgers. The food is absolutely delish and there is something for every taste. It is interesting to note that the menu was actually developed out of the requests of the patrons. Cathy explained that a group of ladies asked if there was anything on the menu that wasn’t fried (or traditional bar food). That conversation triggered some research about popular bar foods, the addition of some healthy fare and the accident that became the very popular Ruben roll. Rest assured, whatever you order for dinner or a late night snack, it comes out of the kitchen delivered with care in preparation and pride.
In fact, meal time was the inspiration behind the name. When Cathy’s kids were away at college she gave them an emergency credit card and asked them to make sure they were getting at least one good meal a day. She said, “Had I seen the Library on the receipt I would’ve thought, good girl! She is sitting at a library studying and enjoying coffee and a danish”. She delights in meeting the college kids parents and often hears “So THIS is The Library!”
Be looking for some construction crews this summer. The back patio is getting revamped with a fresh new look that will include a pavilion cover over the upper deck and enclosures . This will allow for 80 additional outside seats when the weather is less than perfect. Look for the initial set up to begin mid may with completion in July. Cathy anticipates a celebratory kickoff party mid to late July. Details are guarded but I can tell you for certain she is bringing the “Wow factor” to downtown Cape Girardeau!
An interesting fact about the decor: The books on the top shelves of the bar are from the Limbaugh Law Library. It was started in the 1800’s and in its day was the largest library in six states.
Volleyball leagues will continue this summer but there will only be one session due to construction. It will run June 1st-June 30th.
Hours: M-Sat 4p-1:30a, Sun 2p-12a
Friday happy hour includes an amazing spread of food, drink specials and live entertainment! Happy hour is from 4-7p, with live music from 6-9p
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