Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Ninth Ward," the New Orleans-style bar in New York City

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:06 PM

New Orleanians and New Yorkers seem to have an affinity for each other — at least that's been my experience. And I've never had anything less than a great time in New York. That said, I'm not sure what to think of this: a New Orleans-themed bar called "Ninth Ward" is opening in the East Village this weekend:

Ninth Ward is a New Orleans themed bar that will serve Abita beer, Sazeracs, absinthe, and other cocktails ... As for the design, it's meant to evoke 1890's New Orleans, and the owners sourced much of the decor during a road trip down south.

You'll have to click through this link to look at the pictures. It's not bad, it's just sort of ... an Epcot version of Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, I guess. Which, from this other writeup, seems to be the idea:

Ninth Ward is dark as night: the only light leaks in from flickering candles and dim bulbs housed behind old hurricane shutters. Which means it's the perfect place to come in out of the blazing summer sun, order up a cold one and seclude yourself in one of the curtained banquettes to consult your favorite witch doctress in private.

("Witch doctress" ... I'm going into a K-ville K-hole here ... )

As you might imagine, naming a NYC bar "Ninth Ward" is fraught with complications, starting with the fact the Ninth Ward has never exactly been known as a hotspot for creative cocktails or "Cajun standards." Then there's the name, which is being vigorously denounced and defended over on Grub Street and Time Out New York. (The one thing I think both sides could agree on is that a bar that looks like this could be found in almost any neighborhood in New Orleans except the Ninth Ward.)

What say you, Gambiteers? Is naming a New York bar "Ninth Ward" a well-meant salute to the city, or does it just make you cringe?

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