You don't need to go downtown to find nightlife.
Rivershack Tavern The Rivershack Tavern is a colorful roadside bar that succeeds at being a lot of things to a lot of people. Chef Mike Baskind's creative cooking is a boon to lunchtime crowds at nearby Ochsner Hospital. It's a low-frills honky-tonk that hosts rock, blues and country music. Evenings feature more casual fare from the frill and fryer. And it's the self-described "home of the tacky ashtray." The kitsch also extends to all sorts of old signs and memorabilia filling nearly all available wall space. There's also sports on TV, pool tables, darts and outside seating. 3449 River Road, Jefferson, 834-4938; www.rivershacktavern.com
Deckbar & GrillE The low ceiling makes this sprawling bar feel like a basement hangout, but it's got a friendly neighborhood vibe, live music every week and a kitchen serving burgers and fried seafood. 1715 Jefferson Hwy., 830-0104
GennAro's The self-proclaimed oldest bar in Metairie offers all the expected contemporary amenities, including flatscreen TVs for sports viewing, karaoke and inexpensive beer. 3206 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-9226
Oscar's Tucked away on a commercial strip in Old Metarie, Oscar's is a casual neighborhood bar with pool tables and dartboards and is known for its burgers, the Oscalotta, its version of the muffuletta, and baked potatoes. 2027 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-9540
Winston's Pub Who would have guessed you'd find a touch of the U.K. in Old Metairie? This cozy pub has a good selection of beers and serves authentic British-style fish and chips. 531 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-8705