Zaddie's Tavern's (1200 Jefferson Hwy., 832-0830) exterior is painted light gray, which contrasts sharply with the bar's lively, colorful interior: Coral-stocked tropical fish tanks, bright chalk displays listing drink specials, and a convivial atmosphere fill the wood-paneled walls. It's 5:30 p.m. on a Friday and customers are lining the bar, chatting with manager Nikki Gabriel and bartender Nicole Rosecrans about everything from sports to politics.
"We pride ourselves in a tavern that brings that close, friendly, family atmosphere," Gabriel says. "I just love that everyone is so friendly. If someone sits at the bar, everyone brings [him or her] into conversation. It takes about 10 minutes to become a local."
Open for 16 years, Zaddie's Tavern recently expanded in size and now offers food in addition to its cool libations.
"It's still a bar with familiar faces, but we've grown with things we offer in terms of food, pool, darts and karaoke nights," Gabriel says. "If you're looking for a drink, we've got it. We're very competitive when it comes to prices."
In addition to drink specials and a selection of creative martinis, flat-screen TVs, pool tables and dartboards make Zaddie's a popular place for customers to watch sports or unwind after work. Menu items include personal pizzas, burgers and tamales. While most of the food is made in-house with local ingredients, Zaddie's also stocks items like alligator sausage and boudin made by small local businesses.
In addition to the house-made food and lively entertainment provided by the resident dart league, Zaddie's features live music two or three Fridays each month. Other events include steak specials on Thursdays, ladies' nights on Fridays and themed karaoke on Saturday nights. Past themes include pajama night, military night, the '60s and the '70s.
"We're really into themes and holidays," Gabriel says, laughing as she gestures to the Halloween decorations that bedizen the bar. "It's always a riot here."