You’ll need a password to enter The Book Cover, but why? All the best bars in Exeter have their little secrets, but our secret ties us to the cultural connoisseurs of the 1920s bar scene and a tradition that began nearly a century ago. While The Book Cover is the first prohibition cocktail bar Exeter has ever seen, our glamorous bar is by no means the first of its kind.

In fact, The Book Cover joins the cultural heritage of the 1920s bar scene in America, where speakeasies were first born. Secrecy was key to getting around the new Prohibition, anti-drinking laws, and the ingenuity and imagination of those New Yorkers is still at the heart of our vision. It’s what inspired us to create one of the best cocktail bars Exeter has, in a stunning, stylish setting that will transport you back in time.

A good drink is worth taking a little time and research to discover, and our forefathers knew this well. Working in disguise and undercover, 1920s bar owners worked hard to attract patrons despite the law. We wanted to create a cocktail bar Exeter could get just as excited about, with great live music and drinks, but first and foremost with a vibrant and swinging speakeasy atmosphere.

But how do you run a prohibition style, 1920s cocktail bar in Exeter? We had three options.


  1. Offer patrons the sight of a rare animal. Attracted to this new creature, patrons will pay to enter your establishment en-masse, and while they’re having a look, you can offer them a complimentary drink (non-alcoholic, of course).
  2. Hire attentive doormen who, at any sign of the police, will send a secret message through the entire bar, transforming it via a mechanism into a totally normal café, or library, or school.
  3. Hide your identity by operating the entire establishment behind a fake bookshelf or chest of drawers.

Due largely to a lack of rare animals in Exeter and the clever mechanisms required for the first two options, we went with number three. And thus The Book Cover was born. Thanks to the allure of secrecy, some jazzy live music and master mixologists bringing revellers the best cocktails around, we quickly became one of the most unique cocktail bars Exeter has ever been home to.

In fact, our mixologists are some of the best in the country. They create killer cocktails that are Prohibition-strength and even more innovative and delightful as they were in the 1920s. Choose from our extensive menu of quirky cocktails, all of which have been carefully crafted by our in house experts. From Lover’s Bane to Corpse Riviera and Trap Room Punch, all of our drinks come with a kick to get you on your dancing feet. 

To discover the secrets behind one of the best bars in Exeter yourself, uncover the latest password here or browse our full cocktail menu.