Book & Bar is located in Portsmouth’s old Custom House and Post Office, designed by Ammi Young and built in 1860. Young’s work transitioned from the Greek Revival to the Neo-Renaissance Styles, and he designed many federal buildings in the pre Civil War era, including Boston’s Custom House and the U.S. Treasury Building. He pioneered the use of iron in construction, allowing for longer carrying beams and larger interior spaces. The ornate columns flanking our bar are iron. A century and half in, our building is spot on – plumb, level and solid.

Our architect, Jon Lannan of The Nathan Sargent Company, loved the place and envisioned it’s potential from the day we first visited. And it took vision. His evolving designs called for a major build out. Our partner David Lovelace acted as the general contractor and assembled a great team. Our old friend Terence O’Neil helped David build the first Raven twenty years ago, dropped from sight and then happened to drive by as we stood on the building’s front steps. David immediately hired him as lead carpenter. And then we got dirty and broke.

Finally Sandra Lannan, our interior designer, descended to help get it all beautiful with Dave Pine from Portsmouth Painting.

Over the years our space has housed, among other concerns, a dress shop, a doll shop, an auto parts store, Smith and Barney, and some realtors.We want to thank all our contractors (except the guy who zinc wrapped the bar). We wouldn’t be open without them and recommend them highly:

The Nathan Sargent Company, Architectural & Interior Design:

Ben Chichester, Shelving & Cabinetry 603-944-0069

Thanks Brian & John, Holway Electric

Brewster Potter, Plumbing 207-608-1775

Norman Parent, Sheetrocking 207-450-3975

Portsmouth Painting, Dave Pine: 603-969-6591