A city with as much neighborhood pride as New Orleans must have neighborhood bars with great character — and characters inside. Here are some of the old and new spots keeping neighbors entertained.
B.J.'s Lounge Taking cues from the Internet, we know we're supposed to mention the door buzzer and work in the word "gritty" or "dive" somewhere in any reference to B.J.'s. In this case, these might be codes for inexpensive and comfortable (and also dimly lit). Admittedly, "door buzzer" is just a code for door buzzer, which it has. B.J.'s is rarely crowded until after 10 p.m., when it typically fills up with a friendly group of neighborhood regulars pumping a steady stream of bills into its jukebox, notably a non-Internet jukebox filled with a collection of classic rock and R&B CDs presumably chosen by one or more human beings. The bar hosts King James and the Special Men every Monday. Little Freddie King performs semi-regularly. 4301 Burgundy St., 945-9256
Bud Rip's A quintessential neighborhood bar — unassuming and unpretentious — Bud Rip's is a venerable, 100-plus-year-old neighborhood institution. The namesake, 36-year owner Edward "Bud Rip" Ripoll who died in 2006, was a one-term state legislator who famously refused to allow women into the bar (a long-overturned policy). 900 Piety St., 945-5762
Mid-City Yacht Club Many components of this bar, including the bar, are made from refurbished flood-damaged wood collected from shuttered homes and debris piles following Hurricane Katrina. The Yacht club keeps lots of Louisiana beer in stock. There are several very large televisions. 440 S. St Patrick St., 483-2517; www.midcityyachtclub.com
Pal's Lounge This low-frills neighborhood bar has just enough kitsch (air hockey table, risque bathroom decor) to attract hipsters, but cheap enough drinks and weekly food specials to keep it fun. 949 North Rendon St., 488-7257
Parkview Tavern The patio is a popular neighborhood spot to watch football games in the fall, as is the large shaded front porch. 910 N. Carrollton Ave., 482-2680
Old Point Bar With its view of the Westbank levee, Old Point is an Algiers Point institution offering several local beers on tap, live music and outdoor seating. 545 Patterson St., 364-0950; www.oldpointbar.com
Vaughan's Lounge With its sagging overhang and sleepy appearance, one might not expect to find the vibrant local scene inside, like on Thursday evenings for Kermit Ruffins' jazz jam. 4229 Dauphine St., 947-5562