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Craft Cocktails on Tulane Avenue 

  As the massive state and Veterans Administration hospital projects take shape on one end of Tulane Avenue, new businesses are cropping up along other parts of this badly faded corridor. A new example is Treo (3835 Tulane Ave., phone n.a.), an upscale bar in the works from the owners of Finn McCool's Irish Pub (3701 Banks St., 504-486-9080; www.finnmccools.com).

  Treo will specialize in craft cocktails and serve a menu of small plates. Its second floor will be converted into gallery space available for exhibits, classes and events. The building is under renovation, and Treo should be open by the summer.

  "We are loving the progress in Mid-City and want to be part of the resurgence of Tulane Avenue," says Pauline Patterson, who is developing Treo with her husband Stephen.

  Treo (pronounced "tray-oh") is the Irish word for direction, and Patterson says they chose it to symbolize the new direction for Tulane Avenue. The prospect of craft cocktails and small plates signals a big change for Treo's address. For years, this narrow, two-story building had been the Cajun Pub, a run-down bar not to be confused with the Marigny watering hole Kajun's Pub.

  Patterson says Treo will be much different from Finn McCool's, which is located a few blocks away. It will be nonsmoking, she says, and the kitchen will serve dishes inspired by international flavors. A key part of the plan here involves the gallery space upstairs, where she says they will host artists and hold classes led by chefs and mixologists.

  In the past two years, Tulane Avenue saw the addition of New York-style pizza specialist Pizzicare (3001 Tulane Ave., 504-301-4823; www.pizzicare.com), Ur Way Yogurt & Coffee Bar (3001 Tulane Ave., 504-304-1556; www.urwaynola.com) and Avery's Po-boys (2510 Tulane Ave., 504-821-4110; www.averyson-tulane.com).

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