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Bar with a View 

Balcony Bar has some 50 different draft beers available, along with food and games. Nightcrawlers as well as those who want some fun and games in the mid afternoon can find adult beverages, food, pool, darts and other diversions -- plus a diverting view -- at Balcony Bar & Cafe (1104 Harmony St., 895-1600).

Open from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., the decade-old establishment caters to the college-age crowd and those who have remained loyal to its balcony, which wraps around for views of both Magazine and Harmony streets, and game room following matriculation. The atmosphere is relaxed, the beverages plentiful, and the menu ranges from burgers and pizza to Middle Eastern fare.

"Most people like to sit on the balcony, especially if the weather is cool," says general manager Eric Ratcliff. Downstairs there are 50 taps against the wall, pool tables, dartboards and tables on the sidewalk outside, plus an Internet jukebox that gives music lovers a choice of some 180,000 CDs. Upstairs is cozier and has a jukebox stocked with everything from jazz to rock 'n' roll and other genres.

The bar mainly draws regulars from the surrounding neighborhood. "We try to cater to the locals," Ratcliff says. "We offer good drinks at low prices. We have different drink specials every day, like $1 Rolling Rocks on one day and happy hour all day on Sunday. We have every drink under the sun and 50 different draft beers" both domestic and imports from all over the world.

 

Good Food To Go

C'est Si Bon (7457 St. Charles Ave., 865-8636) opened in late July to give locals a place to grab freshly made gourmet food, pastries and an assortment of beverages on the run. The daily fare includes breakfast, lunch and dinner specials prepared by Chef Brian Battistella as well as freshly baked pastries. The eatery also has a coffee and smoothie bar, an ice cream counter and a country store where you can pick up sandwiches, soups, spreads, drinks, imported oils and vinegars and other gourmet items. "Everything is made fresh daily," says general manager Spencer Hidalgo. "Just take them home, reheat them and they're good as new." It's open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and soon will offer catering and delivery.

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