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The Big Bar Guide: Bywater 


BJ's Lounge
4301 Burgundy St., (504) 945-9256
Dive bar
BJ's Monday nights, typically featuring King James & the Special Men and vats of red beans, became the stuff of legend this summer when Robert Plant played a surprise set here. Cold beer, cheap cocktails and vintage 9th Ward chatter are offered everyday. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.

600 Poland Ave., (504) 948-9111;; @bacchanalwine
Wine bar
Food, music, and wine are the draws at this 9th Ward bar. While famous for its wines, Bacchanal also features craft cocktails. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. weeknights and 4 p.m. weekends. There are free wine tastings from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m every Saturday. Open daily. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu.

The Country Club
634 Louisa St., (504) 945-0742;; @countryclubnola
The 19th-century Italianate cottage has an outdoor saltwater pool, sauna and hot tub. The bar's calendar is filled with specialty nights — and it's happy hour any time it rains. Saints and LSU games are screened on a 25-foot projector at the pool. Saturday brunch features a bottomless mimosa and build-your-own bloody mary bar with 50 ingredients. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available. Happy hour 5 p.m.-8 p.m. daily.

J&J's Sports Lounge
800 France St., (504) 942-8877;
Sports bar
Watch sports on a projector screen or tune in to TVs showing pro football, baseball and soccer. After-game parties don't end until you say they do, with the bar staying open until 4 a.m. or later. Beer is the main drink here, and there are 10 on tap. It's always happy hour, with a choice of six $2 beers available all the time. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.

Markey's Bar
640 Louisa St., (504) 943-0785;
Neighborhood bar
Since the 1940s, Bywater neighbors have gathered at the long bar in this corner spot. Watching sports on the large array of TVs is the current attraction, and the bar offers a selection of 25 beers on tap. There's also shuffleboard and video poker. Open daily. Smoking allowed. Food available. Happy hour 2 p.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Maurepas Foods
3200 Burgundy St., (504) 267-0072;; @maurepasfoods
Craft cocktails
The Bywater bar and restaurant seeks local ingredients for both its innovative cuisine and its cocktails. Drinks are mixed with fresh herbs and juices and change with the season. Open Thu.-Tue. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.

Vaughan's Lounge
4229 Dauphine St., (504) 947-5562
Neighborhood bar
Vaughan's brought the world to the 9th Ward, thanks to decades of hosting Kermit Ruffins on Thursday nights. That tradition ended, but Vaughn's didn't miss a beat, booking Corey Henry's Treme Funket and other talents at this friendly, no-frills watering hole. There's free food during halftimes of New Orleans Saints games. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.

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