Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar & Restaurant (701 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-523-8995; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com) sits on a vibrant corner of the Warehouse District. Though it features a decidedly beachy atmosphere, there's not a wave in sight, and the same was true of its first incarnation in Manhattan's Upper West Side, which owner Bruce Rampick opened in 1985.
Lucy's got its name when Rampick's business partners hung a vintage longboard in the bar. The accessory reminded Rampick, a California native, of a surfer's beach joint, and the restaurant's laid-back brand was born. Rampick opened the New Orleans location in 1992.
The Southern California surf-shack menu features burgers, salads and creative tacos and quesadillas. The drink list includes specialty cocktails decorated with tropical toys (even mermaids). The Shark Attack, a concotion of vodka, gin, rum, tequila and sour mix, sports a plastic shark.
"For those who want an all-night party, we also have a shot here that has a scorpion stinger in it," says Virginia Saussy, Lucy's marketing consultant. "Even comes with a T-shirt."
The crowd includes CBD professionals, families taking advantage of the kids' menu and bar regulars. Saussy says Lucy's was a pioneer in its neighborhood.
"We opened long before the Warehouse District trend, which is such a fun mixture of activity," says Saussy, who adds that Lucy's was among the first local places to offer fish tacos.
A private room above the restau-rant accommodates 200 guests for events such as parties and weddings. The attic, as it's called, features the same surf-inspired decor as the downstairs area.
Lucy's is a popular spot for watching New Orleans Saints football. When the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010, Black and Gold players ended up at Lucy's after their Lombardi Gras parade. Quarterback Drew Brees taught the crowd the team's pre-game chant, a video was posted and went viral on Youtube.
The kitchen serves brunch on weekends with free-flowing $3 mimosas and $4 bloody Marys. There also is an all-day happy hour on Mondays and occasional canine Yappie Hours (plus a menu of snacks for dogs that's always available).