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Bottoms Up! The Bar Guide 

Gambit's look at the New Orleans bar scene: happy hours, food, music, smoking policies and much more.

Page 4 of 13



New Orleans Original Daiquiris

Whether through brain freeze or its catchy jingle, this ubiquitous bar's frozen daiquiris are sure to get stuck in your head, thanks to dozens of locations in the metro area. Names like 190 Octane and Triple Bypass (as well as more traditional flavors such as white Russian and strawberry) are slapped on the big tanks twirling the ice-cold treats. Hours and happy hours vary by location. 1 Poydras St., 524-9504; 633 Bourbon St., 524-1585; 8100 St. Charles Ave., 866-1846; 3637 Gen. De Gaulle, 366-8351; 4450 Chef Menteur Hwy., 943-7060; 981 Jefferson Hwy., 832-5021; 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-8474; 6830 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-9995; 100 Clearview Parkway, 733-0545, Metairie; 6201 Airline Drive, 736-0066;

Faubourg Marigny

13 Monaghan's

Cozy up to this Frenchmen Street bar and order seasonal drink specials and vegetarian- and vegan-friendly late-night bites. Cold weather brings out the hot buttered rum and Irish coffees, and there are always pints of perfect-pour Guinness to wash down the tater tachos — that's tater tots, nachos-style. Open daily until 4 a.m. Smoking: no. 517 Frenchmen St., 942-1345;

AllWays Lounge & Theatre

AllWays is a bar, a music club and a theater, where you're never sure if you're going to see an avant-garde play or hear local punk or indie rock. There is live music most nights (check website for calendar), and always an interesting and diverse crowd of Marigny denizens and other bohemian types. (December brings a staging of The Threepenny Opera by the house troupe, Cripple Creek Players.) Smoking: yes. Open 6 p.m.-3 a.m. Tue.-Sun. 2240 St. Claude Ave., 218-5778; or

Apple Barrel

The Apple Barrel is one of the smallest barrooms on the Frenchmen Street strip, but that doesn't prevent it from scheduling two bands per night. The bar is low on frills but easy on comfort, with a handful of barstools and tables offering a view of Frenchmen through the storefront picture windows. Happy hour 2 p.m to 7 p.m. features $2 domestic beers and discounted well drinks. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 609 Frenchmen St., 949-9399

Blue Nile

Ritzy blue and gold decor sets the mood for this music club staged in an 1832 building, reportedly the first constructed on Frenchmen Street. The club offers a full bar and live national and international bands perform in venues upstairs and down, and there's a balcony overlooking Frenchmen Street. Thursday is reggae night. Open Tue.-Sun. Smoking: yes. 532 Frenchmen St., 948-2583;

Buffa's Restaurant & Lounge

Order $2 mimosas during Sunday's live jazz brunch, or enjoy breakfast, burgers and sandwiches any time at this 24-hour lounge. A jukebox provides music other times, and customers can play darts or pool while sipping their favorite beverage from the full bar. Open 24 hours. Smoking: yes. Dog friendly. Cash only. 1001 Esplanade Ave., 949-0038;

Check Point Charlie

A bar and a laundromat — it took New Orleans to put the two together. Check Point doesn't stop there, though, with live music Tuesday through Saturday, open mic Sundays and karaoke Mondays. Add cheap drinks, bar food, a pool table, free Wi-Fi and a we-never-close policy and you have the perfect recipe for a dive bar. You can sleep when you're dead — but at least you'll have clean clothes. Open 24 hours. Smoking: yes. 501 Esplanade Ave., 281-4847


The all-cypress music room in this 1880s building provides a warm sound for nightly live music performances. The bar has one of the city's largest beer selections as well as a long list of single-malt Scotches and other liquors Booth window seats looking onto Frenchmen Street give people-watchers a good vantage point. Open 5 p.m. Mon.-Thu. and 4 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Smoking: yes. 618 Frenchmen St., 942-3731;


It's not really a hangout for outlaws, but if you are feeling like a desperado, take your aggression out on the pool table, yell during a game on TV, or work out your extra energy dancing to the jukebox. To keep you fueled, order pizza or sandwiches with your drinks. The Hacienda Lounge upstairs is open on weekends. Open Wed.-Sun. and Mon. Smoking: patio only. 801 Frenchmen St., 943-9900;

Dragon's Den

With the ambience of an opium den, this music club is entered through a steep, narrow stairwell that opens onto a dance floor and bar with pillows on the floor and bohemian charm. DJs and live bands play a diverse range of music from jazz to reggae to bluegrass. Saints games are shown on TV, and barbecue is available. There are specials on shots, beer and sake 9 p.m. until closing on Monday. Open nightly. Smoking: no. 435 Esplanade Ave., no phone;

Friendly Bar

Located on a residential corner in the Marigny rectangle, the Friendly is both a gay bar and a neighborhood hangout, the kind of place with Christmas lights on the ceiling and New Orleans favorites on the juke. Come Mardi Gras, it's also a prime spot to watch the Krewe du Vieux. Happy hour weekdays 4 p.m.-9 p.m. (with three well drinks or domestic beers for $5 on Tuesdays). Open 11 a.m.-till. Smoking: yes. 2301 Chartres St., 943-8929

Hi Ho Lounge

There's something different going on every night of the week, including TV sports and live music ranging from punk to Mardi Gras Indian groups. Monday features a bluegrass pickin' party and $2 red beans and rice, Wednesday has a local videographer showcase, and the Stooges Brass Band plays Thursday. Pizza and empanadas are available. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 2239 St. Claude Ave., 945-4446;


Iggy's is a friendly neighborhood bar frequented by local characters who stop by to play the classic bowling machine, dart board, pool table, video poker or watch TV. A jukebox provides music, except when a live band takes the stage the last Saturday of each month. There's barbecue every Sunday, dart league play on Tuesday and a pool league Wednesday. Open 24 hours. Smoking: yes. Happy hour 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 1943 N. Rampart St., 949-3485

The John

It's a bar with a sense of humor, reflected in the gold-painted toilet-seat bar stools at the tables. Drinks here are stiff and served up in Mason jars — just the fuel needed for a spirited game of Ping-Pong against the backdrop of rockabilly, country and punk on the jukebox. Open 24 hours. Smoking: yes. 2040 Burgundy St., 942-7159

John Paul's Bar

Winner of the Show Bar of the Year Gay Appreciation Award for two years running, this bar is a popular spot for special events. There's a big-screen TV for football games, drag shows on Friday and Saturday, frequent performances by Marcy Marcell, music from DJs, a large selection of vodkas and top-shelf bourbons, plus $1 Miller Lite drafts and vodka punch shots all the time. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Dog friendly. 940 Elysian Fields Ave., 948-1888;

Kajun's Pub

Down a signature Tar Ball PinaTini martini to warm you up for karaoke five nights a week, or swap stories with owner Joann Guidos, a character in Dan Baum's book Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans. Pool leagues play daily, there's Nintendo Wii bowling on Monday and big-screen TVs show football and movies. An Internet jukebox allows personal requests. Open 24 hours. Smoking: yes. 2256 St. Claude Ave., 947-3735;

Lost Love Lounge

Lost Love features $2 tequila, comedy shows, massage or manicures on Thursday (along with $5 sake or Sapporo), and other special events. Watch True Blood on Sunday. You can nosh on spring rolls, pho and vermicelli bowls from Pho King in the back of the bar. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 2529 Dauphine St., 949-2009;

The Maison

This music and dance club has several stages of entertainment on two levels and a balcony overlooking the main stage, with live jazz, funk or brass bands every night. There is an open musicians jam at 10 p.m. Monday, and a dance party with guest DJs in the penthouse at 10 p.m. Friday. There's also free Wi-Fi, trivia games, pool tables, video poker and dart boards. Food is available. Open 4 p.m. daily. 508 Frenchmen St., 371-5543;

Mimi's in the Marigny

End your night or start your day with Spanish-influenced tapas at this neighborhood bar (except Mondays, when the kitchen is closed), which pulls in hipsters and locals from all over. Listen to live music or DJ Soul Sister upstairs on Saturday. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Pool table, dart board. 2601 Royal St., 872-9868;

Phoenix Bar Bikers,

bears and leather aficionados call the Phoenix home, but you don't have to be gay to be welcome at this big red barn on Elysian Fields. Special events include Wii bowling on Monday nights, Tuesday pool tourneys, Saturday afternoon movies and a $5 Friday night beer bust. Go shirtless and get happy hour prices on Wednesday nights. DJ s play house music on weekend nights. Open 24 hours. Smoking: yes. Happy hour 2 p.m.-7 p.m. daily. 941 Elysian Fields Ave., 945-9264;

R Bar

You no longer have to choose between a night on the town or a hair appointment; R Bar offers $10 haircuts in an antique barber chair (along with a complimentary shot) on Mondays. There's a jukebox and DJs for music lovers and Friday night food specials. If you can't drive home, book a room at the Royal Street Inn upstairs. Open daily. Smoking: yes. Pool table, TV sports. 1431 Royal St., 948-7499;

Ruthie's Bar at the Marigny Brasserie

Ruthie's Bar in the Marigny Brasserie provides upscale surroundings and a casual atmosphere for craft cocktails such as the signature Ruthie's rum punch, a Pimm's cup or cucumber cosmopolitan. There's comfortable seating inside, or take a table on Frenchmen Street. The restaurant's full menu is available. Open daily. Smoking: patio only. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472;

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro

A New Orleans standard for both visitors and locals, Snug Harbor features live jazz music daily in a room off the bar, featuring some of the best names in the genre. It also has a video screen so bar patrons can watch the performance. Order food at the bar from the adjoining dining room, which serves Creole and New Orleans fare. Open daily. Smoking: no. 626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696;

Spotted Cat

Women can test their musical talents on a piano in the ladies room at this live jazz and blues music club, which charges no cover most nights. Local art decorates the walls, and you can sit at the bar or stake out a table. Abita beer is king here, but other drinks are available. Open daily. Smoking: yes. 623 Frenchmen St., 943-3887;

Three Muses

Earlier this year, chef Daniel Esses, musician Sophie Lee and restaurant/hospitality specialist Christopher Starnes opened this chic restaurant/bar, which stages music nightly. An experienced bartender, Starnes pours craft cocktails every night. Tapas are available in the bar. Open 4 p.m. Wed.-Mon. Smoking: no. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 536 Frenchmen St., 298-8746;

Yuki Izakaya

This Japanese-style tavern offers a taste of its homeland, with red and black decor, Japanese movie posters and Japanese films screened on the back walls some nights. There also are DJs and live music. Sake and shochu are the favored libations, and there are ginger beer and coconut-lemongrass sake. Tapas are available, and there is outside seating. Open 6 p.m. Tue.-Sun. Smoking: no. 525 Frenchmen St., 943-1122;

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