Best Of 2018

Best New Concert Venue That's Also a Library: The Mercantile Library

Best New Concert Venue That's Also a Library
click to enlarge HAILEY BOLLINGER
Hailey Bollinger

Remember watching Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and the rest of The Breakfast Club philosophizing and rocking out in a library? Now there’s a chance to do that in real life. The 183-year-old Mercantile Library hasn’t been as quiet since former Enquirer writer John Faherty became executive director in 2015 with the goal of adding innovative programming to draw a diverse crowd. Nearly three years later, the number of members is now the highest in a century, and the institution is making more noise with the Words and Music lecture/concert series. Singer/songwriter Josh Ritter kicked off the program with a sold-out talk and performance in January 2017, followed in March of this year by Grammy winning singer/songwriter, novelist and actor Steve Earle. Events are open to members and nonmembers alike, so read and rock on. Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut St., 11th Floor, Downtown, mercantilelibrary.com.