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New Life on the Lakefront 

The Dock (1926 West End Park, 284-3625) is more than a place to get a lakeside meal of seafood, steak or sandwich or enjoy a cocktail while looking out over Lake Pontchartrain. It's an entertainment complex that presents live music five nights a week, hosts an American Idol-style talent search and even rents motorbikes for scooting around the lakefront.

Billing itself as "New Orleans' newest entertainment port of call," the new restaurant, bar and music venue opened New Year's Eve and has continually improved its offerings ever since. The owners, a group of local investors, renovated a somewhat dilapidated bar on West End Park, adorning it with cypress from Lake Maurepas and nicely detailed finishing touches such as long bar tables with heavy fish legs carved by a chainsaw by Florida artist Jeff Wheelock.

The facility itself can accommodate 800 people on its two levels with indoor and outdoor seating and a rooftop bar and sundeck that has been the location for a number of private crawfish boils and parties. Even on the lower floor the ample seating inside is complemented by lots of tables on the deck, two full-size bars inside, an oyster bar and soon a sushi bar will be open to add even more choices.

"It's the best view in the city," Heather Colgan, marketing director for The Dock says of the view from the roof. "We'll have live bands up here in the summer ... and on July 4 we'll have a fireworks display."

The coming months also will see the addition of jet ski and parasailing rentals from The Dock. Evenings offer special promotions such as another talent search planned later in the year. Other special events include bike night, which draws about 300 motorcycle enthusiasts to the lakefront from 8 p.m. to midnight on Wednesdays, and special Jazz Fest Concerts featuring Lil' Band O' Gold (April 25), Papa Grows Funk (April 26), The Iguanas (May 2) and The Radiators (May 3). Tickets for those shows can be purchased online at The Dock also will be the site of New Orleans favorite son band the Topcats' 20th Anniversary Party at 10 p.m. April 11.

In addition to the entertainment, The Dock features a bountiful menu of seafood, po-boys, steaks, pizza, salads, bar food and a 10-ounce ground round burger with whatever fixings you like. There also is a full complement of specialty drinks, beer, martinis and frozen drinks and non-alcoholic libations for every taste. There are even pool tables for those who are so inclined.

By day The Dock is a family restaurant and by night -- you have to be 21 or over to enter after 10 p.m. -- it's an entertainment spot where visitors are equally comfortable whether they're 25 or 50 years old.

"It's a casual atmosphere that's comfortable for everyone," Colgan says. "It's pretty timeless, not trendy. The music is a mix of everything, which reflects the clientele. We have the hottest bands in the area, and we want to have more concerts in the future." She says plans include having a band on the inside downstairs, where there already is a bandstand and well-used dance floor, while another group plays on the rooftop deck. Customers who want a change of pace can checkout the rooftop band on monitors that will play in other areas of the club.

"There's not much we're not trying," she says. "We don't really have a slow day."

See what it takes to be a fashion plate while at the same time contributing to the betterment of talented young scholars at a benefit luncheon honoring the best-dressed men and women of New Orleans.

The Men of Fashion and the organization's Women's Guild will hold their 30th Annual Prix d' Elegance luncheon at 11:30 a.m. April 8 at the New Orleans Hilton Grand Ballroom. A patron party precedes the event at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $50 for the luncheon and $75 for the patron party and lunch. Proceeds benefit Overture to the Cultural Season, which provides scholarships and endowments in the arts to high school students.

The luncheon will honor 10 men and 10 women who were selected by Men of Fashion and the Women's Guild to receive the 2002 Best Dressed awards. They include Dixie Cups member Rosa Hawkins, musician Allen Toussaint, Mayor Ray Nagin, state Rep. Jennifer Sneed, Judge Roland L. Belsome, Dr. William G. Armington, Dr. Richard N. Sherman, Miriam Schulingkamp, Juan M. Barona, Morris Bart, Jeanne Bruno, Virginia Eckholdt, Patricia Fullmer, David Guidry, Henry Shane, Kathleen Mix, Tiffany Laiken Oestreicher, Lynette Stilwell, Kimberly D. Williamson Butler and Louis Wilson. In addition to the new honorees, past winners Celeste Judell and Murray Valene will be given 2002 Hall of Fame Awards.

For information or tickets, call 837-2582 or 283-1389.

click to enlarge Customers (left to right) Ted Chapotoon, Eddie Atherton, Roy Hauck, George Karmoukos and Patrick Farrell enjoy a midday respite at The Dock, which overlooks Lake Pontchartrain.
  • Customers (left to right) Ted Chapotoon, Eddie Atherton, Roy Hauck, George Karmoukos and Patrick Farrell enjoy a midday respite at The Dock, which overlooks Lake Pontchartrain.
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