Running With Scissors is the local stage troupe that's brought New Orleans original entertainments like The Really Desperate Housewives of Stepford Parish and The Titanic Adventures of the Love Boat Poseidon — the kind of shows that go down best with an audience that's had a couple of drinks ... if not something stronger. We asked the Scissors sisters (and brothers) where they like to drink when they're not busy committing theater.
Brad Caldwell, actor: "Hands down, my favorite bar is Napoleon's Itch. The drinks, location and decor are great, but my favorite part is that it's completely non-smoking. Not that I have anything against smokers per se, but my clothes and hair sure do."
John "Jonno" d'Addario, "photographer, art historian, and bon vivant": "Of the several bars which ring the rosy perimeter of the part of the French Quarter fondly known as the Fruit Loop, my favorite is probably Cafe Lafitte in Exile, known simply as 'Lafitte's' to most of its regulars (not to be confused with Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop down the street) or 'Fifi's' when said regulars are in a particularly festive mood.
"The drinks are fairly priced, the bartenders are friendly, and there's always the chance of being entertained by half-naked hotties dancing on top of the bar or wrestling in a giant wading pool of Spaghetti-O's when you venture upstairs. You'll also find one of the best balconies in New Orleans, complete with a postcard-perfect view of the half-faded Uneeda Biscuit sign on the corner of Dumaine, impromptu screenings of Xanadu on the outside wall of the Clover Grill across the street, and a view down Bourbon Street that makes you fall in love with New Orleans all over again (especially after a few cocktails).
"And if you're really lucky you'll be there for one of the epic mass napkin tosses when the DJ starts playing 'Love Is In The Air' ... but I'll let you experience that for yourself."
Jack Long, actor: "When asked about my favorite bar, I usually say, 'Whichever bar is closest.' Then I follow up with, ' ... and is still gracious enough to allow me through the doors after the last time.' Interesting fact: The only proper reply when you are asked to leave an establishment is 'It was a lovely party. Thank you for having me.' Any other response can only involve bruising and possible police intervention. But to the question: Flanagan's Pub on St. Philip provides the two most important qualities I look for in a bar. The clientele is just boisterous enough that it is unlikely that anybody could remember sufficient detail about you should they be subpoenaed, and the bartenders are discreet enough to forget when they last saw you, should your significant other inquire."
Elizabeth Pearce, actor, culinary historian and cocktail tour guide at the Hermann Grima House: "Some might label the Lost Love Lounge as 'hipster,' but to me, it just feels like my neighborhood. Both the Marigny (and Bywater) are pretty welcoming to all kinds of folks, and the Lost Love Lounge is as well. The bartenders are always super-friendly, as is the owner, who is often perched on a barstool chatting with customers at the door or at the bar. The lending library may seem incongruous in a locale that specializes in turning your vision slightly blurry, but perusing the titles always leads to interesting discussions with whoever you are sitting next to. The lighting is just right for a date: moody without being seedy, and I enjoy the tiki-ish decor evoked by the Sailor Jerry posters that pepper the walls. Also, having late night Vietnamese food served from the back is a welcome alternative to french fries. A great neighborhood bar."
Lisa Picone, singer/actor: "My favorite neighborhood hang-out spot is Vaughan's in the Bywater. It's a block away from my house. The drinks are cheap and they have a decent beer selection — I usually get a 'girlie' Woodchuck pear. It's a great place to watch Saints games and there is even free food every once in a while. I was there for the (Saints) championship and the Super Bowl and I wouldn't have had it any other way. My favorite fancy place is the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone. The revolving bar is elegant. It's a great place for Champagne on New Year's Eve or a refreshing Pimm's Cup on a hot summer night."
Todd Perley, video editor: "I pride myself on being a connoisseur of neighborhood dive bars. (Everyone has to have a hobby, right?) I've put in long hours researching New Orleans' many watering holes, and I have to say that The Saint is one of the friendliest in town. They'll make you feel right at home — even if your home isn't the Lower Garden District."
Richard Read, writer/director/impresario: "I tend to judge a bar by how fast and friendly the service is at the worst possible times (but then, I'm kind of a pessimist). On that count alone, One Eyed Jacks ranks at the top of my list. Whether I'm at a crowded show or out for a leisurely cocktail-hour beverage, the bartenders are quick and to the point. They're even speedy on Fat Tuesday, which is an accomplishment on par with reciting Shakespeare during an earthquake or zipping down Magazine Street on a Saturday afternoon. As for decor: If there's anyone who doesn't enjoy naked ladies painted on velvet, I probably don't want to know 'em."
Liz Zibilich, "props dominatrix": "Molly's at the Market is my favorite local hangout. You can sit in the window sipping a frozen Irish coffee watching the world go by. The bartenders offer good conversation and quick, delicious cocktails. There's a back bar, too, which is great for cool nights. A cat that just hangs around ... a photo booth ... and where else can you drink with the dead?!? (Ask to see Irving!)"