First it was Saints season, then Hornets season, and now it's time for Treme season. The second season of David Simon's HBO series starts this Sunday, beginning a year after the levee failures. Whether you like it or not, all of your co-workers and friends will be blurting out episode spoilers on Mondays, so you should probably tune in. Don't have HBO? Plenty of bars around town screen the show, usually with food and drink specials — and no fancy cable bill for you. Here are a few bars hosting screenings. If you know of any others, tell us in the comments!
Buffa's Restaurant and Lounge (1001 Esplanade Ave.; 949-0038) recently added a "huge" hi-def TV to its back room, where it will host weekly screenings with food and drink specials.
Over at the Bridge Lounge (1201 Magazine St., 299-1888), the bar offers a $5 buffet during its screenings, when there are also happy hour drink specials. If the Treme buffet is anything like the one the bar has on trivia nights, I would highly recommend partaking.
The Country Club (634 Louisa St., 945-0742; www.thecountryclubneworleans.com) might be the only place to offer a poolside viewing. Besides screening the show on its 11-foot poolside projection screen, there are also two big-screen TVs and another projection screen inside the bar and restaurant. The restaurant offers a small menu of sandwiches and burgers for the event. There's no cost to watch inside, but it's $7 to access the clothing optional pool area after 5 p.m.
The Hi-Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude Ave., 945-4446) plays the show on its high-def big screen for its second season premiere party. The event also features a raffle of a piece of art featured in the show. Raffle tickets are $5.
Lost Love Lounge (2529 Dauphine St., 949-2009; lostlovelounge.com) has three screens total — a 42-inch hi-def, a 4-foot projection screen and a 9-foot projection screen — in its two rooms. The bar also screens the prior week's episode before the new one, and if after the episode everyone wants to just stick around and watch Games of Thrones — they're totally cool with that. The bar usually has drink specials, and its Vietnamese kitchen Pho King is open during the events.
Monkey Hill (6100 Magazine St., 899-4800), the Uptown bar with the giant martinis and jewel-toned interior, screens the show every week.
Pal's (925 N. Rendon St., 488-7257) has free red beans and rice and a special cocktail for the weekly screenings: The Second Line Soda, which is made with New Orleans Nectar Soda and is $4.
If you want to watch Treme in a place you'll be able to have a thoughtful discussion about the show, R-Bar (1431 Royal St., 948-7499) is not the place for you. As it does during Saints games, the Marigny spot tends to get a little rowdy. The bar offers a drink special featuring fresh fruit cocktails from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
A popular spot for watching games, the Rusty Nail (1100 Constance St., 525-5515; www.therustynail.biz) will have the Hornets game on one TV and Treme on another this week. The bar says it will offer its regular drink specials and some kind of food for the weekly screenings.
Last year, Finn McCool's (3701 Banks St., 486-9080) and Charbonnet Funeral Home (1615 St. Philip St., 581-4411) hosted parties, but I was unable to confirm if they're doing them this year. Once I find out I'll update this post.
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