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Gambit's The Big Bar Guide 2015: Uptown 

click to enlarge Tequila-based drinks are the specialty at Arana Taqueria y Cantina Uptown.

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Tequila-based drinks are the specialty at Arana Taqueria y Cantina Uptown.

45 Tchoup
4529 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 891-9066;
Neighborhood bar
There's always sports on TV at this neighborhood bar, and food trucks park outside four nights a week. Beer and a shot is a favorite combo, and there are about 60 beer choices and $6 glasses of wine. Walls in the women's restroom are decorated with prom pictures. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 2 p.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Aline Street Beer Garden
1515 Aline St., (504) 891-5774;
Beer pub
This bar is styled like a German beer garden, and there's seating at long communal tables on the sidewalk. Weekly specials include two-liter stiefels (boot-shaped glasses) of beer on Tuesday, $3.50 pints of cask beer Thursday and draft pints of German beers for $3.50 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. There's German food and changing pop-ups. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Arana Taqueria y Cantina
3242 Magazine St., (504) 894-1233;;
Restaurant bar
Join the free Arana Tequila Society and receive a "tequila passport" and prizes for trying different brands. Happy hour features half-price tacos and drinks. The restaurant's menu offers tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and quesadillas. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

The Avenue Pub
1732 St. Charles Ave., (504) 586-9243;;
Beer pub
The casual corner bar has made a name for itself with its large craft beer program and beer events. The beer list includes a wide array of styles from European, particularly Belgian, and American craft brewers in bottles and on draft. There is a back patio and a balcony overlooking St. Charles Avenue. Open 24 hours daily. Food available. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

5908 Magazine St., (504) 509-6550;;
Restaurant bar
Chef Nick Lama serves Sicilian- and Italian-inspired fare in the cozy restaurant and adjoining covered courtyard. The bar serves Italian wines and cocktails such as the burnt orange Negroni and the Basilico, featuring vodka, limoncello, basil and lemon. Select bottles of wine are half price on Monday. Open Mon.-Sat. Full restaurant menu.

Barrel Proof
1201 Magazine St., (504) 299-1888;;
With its drooping awning and low-frills decor of corrugated metal, this bar looks like a roadhouse, but the extensive whiskey and craft beer offerings are upscale. There's a deep selection of American, Irish and Japanese whiskeys, single-malt Scotches and more. Beers range from American craft beers to Belgian and German imports. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Basin Seafood & Spirits
3222 Magazine St., (504) 302-7391;;
Restaurant bar
This restaurant focuses on rustic seafood dishes, and items such as crab and crawfish beignets appear on the bar's happy hour menu, which also features $4 local craft beers and $5 cocktails and glasses of wine. Oysters are 50 cents from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p. m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

The Bulldog
3236 Magazine St., (504) 891-1516,
Beer pub
See Mid-City section for bar description.

Carrollton Station
8140 Willow St., (504) 865-9190;;
Neighborhood bar
There are drink specials every day, served from a century-old Brunswick bar, and special events include dollar tacos on Monday, stand-up comedy open mic on Wednesday, trivia on Thursday and occasional live music. We've Got Soul Kitchen serves dinner till midnight Thursday through Sunday. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 3 p.m.-8 p.m. daily.

Charlie's Steak House
4510 Dryades St., (504) 895-9323;
Restaurant bar
The old-fashioned steak restaurant — it opened in 1932 — has a casual atmosphere and sticks to the basics: classic steaks, simple sides and old fashioneds. Open Tue.-Sat. Full restaurant menu.

The Club Ms. Mae's
4336 Magazine St., (504) 218-8035
Dive bar
A late-night favorite of many college students, neighborhood regulars also haunt the bar to sift through a wide selection of '90s jukebox hits, watch NFL games and play air hockey. Ms. Mae's 24/7 hours — and cheap drinks — have caused many a patron to end up on the club's infamous Wall of Shame. Open 24 hours daily. No food.

Columns Hotel Victorian Lounge
Columns Hotel, 3811 St. Charles Ave., (504) 899-9308;
Hotel bar
Located on the first floor of a 19th-century mansion-turned-hotel, the bar draws a variety of patrons who like to sip classic cocktails such as mint juleps, Ramos gin fizzes and Sazeracs while listening to live music or watching the street scene on St. Charles Avenue. The restaurant serves Cajun and Creole cuisine. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Courtyard Brewery
1020 Erato St.;;
The brewery, in a converted warehouse loading zone, has an industrial look and is a causal hangout with events such as BYOV (Bring Your Own Vinyl) to play on the house record player on Thursday. Sometimes in warm weather, staff break out the wading pool. But the main attraction is the craft beer selection, including house-made Baby IPA, Hibiscus Pale Ale and Sonic Youth in 1983. Food trucks visit nearly every night. Open daily. No food.

Crudo + Bar at Baru
3700 Magazine St., (504) 895-2225;;
Restaurant bar
The bar is upstairs at Baru Tapas, and it offers signature cocktails and seafood small plates including ceviche and oysters. The bar serves sangria, mojitos, pisco sours and a Paloma made with mezcal, grapefruit agave and basil. Open Mon.-Sat. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7p.m. Mon.-Fri.

4905 Freret St., (504) 302-2357;;
Craft cocktails
A pioneer of New Orleans' craft cocktail movement, Cure is still one of the best places to try something new. Dress up — even if it's just a little bit — and you'll fit in; it's a lively but not college-raucous crowd. Try a classic cocktail or let one of the skilled bartenders make something tailored to your palate. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Fri.-Sun.

Del Fuego
4518 Magazine St., (504) 309-5797;;
Restaurant bar
Margaritas, sangria and beer are standards at this Mexican restaurant, which offers half-off salsa trios during happy hour. Most-ordered drinks include the house margarita, Ojos de Fuego and La Paloma. Open Mon.-Sat. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

3442 St. Charles Ave., (504) 895-0858;;
Wine bar
An interesting mix of cozy, quirky and sophisticated makes this streetcar-shaped bar a popular destination for lingering over drinks and upscale pub fare. Almost two dozen wines are available by the glass and more by the bottle, and there are beers from all over the world. There's a patio that overlooks the streetcar line, and the kitchen serves food late. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.

Dos Jefes
5535 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 891-8500;;
Cigar Bar
Smoking may be banned most everywhere else, but cigar fans can still kick back with a cigar and a glass of whiskey at Dos Jefes. Outside offers lush patio seating, while inside is an intimate venue for live jazz six nights a week, with frequent gigs from musicians like John Fohl and Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes. The bar is a regular stop for food trucks and there's also a TV and pool table. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Evangeline Lounge II
1753 St. Charles Ave., (504) 523-4500
Neighborhood bar
Play pool for free here, or take a turn on the dartboard. DJ Matt Scott provides music on Fridays and Saturdays, and the bar offers service industry discounts daily. Popular drink selections include tequila and imported beers. Open daily. No food.

Fat Harry's
4330 St. Charles Ave., (504) 895-9582;
Neighborhood bar
Jimi Hendrix watches over the bar at this football fan favorite, where local beers on tap are available by the pint or the pitcher. The front patio overlooks St. Charles Avenue. A revamped kitchen menu features a variety of sliders, St. James Cheese Co. cheeses and daily specials. Open daily. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Felipe's Taqueria
6215 S. Miro St., (504) 288-8226;;
Restaurant bar
See French Quarter section for bar description.

click to enlarge Live music, trivia nights, a pool table and lots of different beers make for good times at Freret Street PubliQ House. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Live music, trivia nights, a pool table and lots of different beers make for good times at Freret Street PubliQ House.

Freret Street PubliQ House
4528 Freret St., (504) 826-9912;;
Music club
Students with a valid college ID get free admission to Thursday night Brass-A-Holics performances, and trivia geeks can win $25 on Tuesdays (teams with high scores for the month win a keg party). The bar also has a pool table, a dog-friendly policy and many different beers. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 4 p.m.-midnight Mon. & Wed., 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Tue.-Fri.

Gasa Gasa
4920 Freret St., (504) 304-7110;;
Music Club
Painted paneling and projections light up the stage, which hosts touring indie rock, local honky tonk, jazz, funk and punk and metal bands. The wraparound bar offers a sizeable selection of bottled beer and beer on tap. There's also a colorful courtyard for hanging out between sets, or browse the eclectic record bins from Sisters in Christ. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Half Moon Bar & Grill
1125 St. Mary St., (504) 593-0011;
Neighborhood bar
Grab a table in the courtyard or on the sidewalk under its neon sign, or sink into the nooks and crannies at this popular Garden District corner bar, from skee-ball in the back to the window seats for people watching. Sundays are for football or, when the season's over, bingo. Balance the beer menu with the grill's hefty late-night bites, from loaded fries and chicken wings to half-pound burgers. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Henry's Uptown Bar
5101 Magazine St., (504) 324-8140;
Neighborhood bar
This quintessential family-owned New Orleans watering hole first opened in 1900 and has been visited by its share of famous people, including Lee Harvey Oswald. On weekend game days, beer buckets are $11. Open daily. No food. Happy hour all day Mon., opening-till 7 p.m. Tue.-Fri.

The Howlin' Wolf
907 S. Peters St., (504) 529-5844;;
Music Club
The live music venue has showcased a range of music acts for more than 25 years, including national acts. The bar is made with hand-carved mahogany salvaged from the demolition of Al Capone's Lexington Hotel. Food is available at Howlin' Wolf Den. Open daily. Food available.

The Howlin' Wolf Den
901 S. Peters St., (504) 529-5844;
Music Club
This dog-friendly restaurant and music venue is a restored horse barn built in the 1800s. The kitchen serves late-night, Creole-inspired bar food, offering dishes like pulled pork Cuban sandwiches, blackened fish tacos and bacon and cheddar beignets. There's live music nightly and comedy on Tuesday and Thursday. Open daily. Food available.

The Irish House
1432 St. Charles Ave., (504) 595-6755;;
Restaurant bar
This dog-friendly gastropub has a large selection of Irish whiskey and holds tastings the third Monday of each month. Wednesday is pub quiz night, and there's live music Thursday through Sunday. Happy hour features $6 small plates of shepherd's pie, bangers and mash and fish and chips. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

The Kingpin
1307 Lyons St., (504) 891-2373;
Neighborhood bar
On an otherwise quiet and narrow strip off Prytania Street, The Kingpin stays busy with shuffleboard players, New Orleans Saints and food truck fans, movie crowds squeezing in a pre-show round, and beer drinkers (more often nearby Uptowners than college crowds). Food trucks are available Monday through Saturday. Open daily. Happy hour 3 p.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Mahony's Po-Boys & Seafood
3454 Magazine St., (504) 899-3374;;
Restaurant bar
Mahony's is known for its menu of creative po-boys, and the bar serves beers from Abita Brewing Company and NOLA Brewing. Happy hour features $2 draft beers and house wines and $5 appetizers. There are TVs for sports viewing and some seating in front of the restaurant. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Martin Wine Cellar
3827 Baronne St., (504) 894-7444;;
Wine Bar
The bistro and deli serves cheese, charcuterie and small plates as well as deli fare. The bar offers a selection of wine and craft beers. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Mayfair Lounge
1505 Amelia St., (504) 895-9163
Neighborhood bar
There's a loyal core of regulars who come to this neighborhood spot for cheap drinks, heavy pours, watching sports (you get a free shot when the New Orleans Saints make a touchdown) or pool night on Wednesday. The decor is an eclectic mix of Mardi Gras and Christmas and the ambience is laid-back and fun-loving. Open daily. No food.

Milan Lounge
1312 Milan St., (504) 338-8477;
Neighborhood bar
The neighborhood bar prides itself on offering cheap drinks and staying open late. The bar shows all LSU and Chicago Cubs games, and offers free food during New Orleans Saints games. There's darts and karaoke too. Popular drinks include High Life, Schlitz, regional brews and Jameson shots. Open daily.
Food available.

Monkey Hill Bar
6100 Magazine St., (504) 899-4800;;
Martini Bar
This living room-style lounge is known for its creative martini menu, including the bananas Foster: Stoli Vanil vodka, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, banana liqueur, butterscotch schnapps and cinnamon. There's also beer, wine and Scotch. La Cocinita runs the kitchen Thursday-Sunday, serving tacos, empanadas and more. Open daily. Food available. Happy hour 3 p.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

NOLA Brewing Tap Room
3001 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 301-0117;;
Beer pub
The 24 taps at NOLA Brewing's tap room offer its seven flagship beers (NOLA Blonde Ale, Hopitoulas, 7th Street Wheat and others) plus an array of specialty beers, such as bourbon barrel-aged stouts and the "funk series." Brewery tours include two free beers. Food from McClure's Barbecue is available, and the Old Portage pop-up serves food on Tuesdays. Open daily. Food available.

733 Cherokee St., (504) 865-1155;;
Neighborhood bar
Phillips has been serving food and cocktails since the Great Depression, offering an array of beers, wines and classic cocktails. Wednesday is steak night, Thursday is taco night and there is a bacon and bourbon menu on Friday. Open Tue.-Sat. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour opening-7 p.m. daily.

Roberts Bar & Liquor Store
3125 Calhoun St., (504) 866-9121
College Bar
Roberts Bar was established in 1933 — one day after Prohibition was repealed. Today loyal regulars keep Jaeger bombs the most popular drink and entertain themselves with pool games, monthly ping-pong tournaments and an Internet jukebox. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

The Saint
961 St. Mary St., (504) 523-0050;;
Dive bar
DJs Otto and Joey Buttons are often on the decks at this dim, low-ceilinged home of countless sweaty dance parties. Tuesdays bring "Tikioki" (tiki drinks and karaoke), Wednesday is rock 'n' roll records, and there's a large patio in case you need a breather. Open daily. No food.

St. Joe's
5535 Magazine St., (504) 899-3744;
Neighborhood bar
Sit at the long bar and order from a menu of local, microbrewed and imported beers or classic cocktails like an old fashioned or Sazerac, nestle into a pew around the pool table or a seat in a paper lantern-bedecked covered patio. There's religious art and icons decorating the bar, but the signature blueberry mojito likely gets the most praise. Open daily. No food.

Salu Bistro and Bar
3226 Magazine St., (504) 371-5809;;
Restaurant bar
Get $15 bottomless mimosas, Pimm's cups, screwdrivers and bloody marys during Saturday and Sunday brunch at this dog-friendly bar. During happy hour, mussels and flatbread are half off. On Thursday, paella comes with a complimentary bottle of house wine. The restaurant also hosts a monthly pig roast. Open daily. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Samuel's Blind Pelican
1628 St. Charles Ave., (504) 558-9399
The Blind Pelican perches in the Garden District, overlooking the St. Charles Avenue streetcar from a lush tropical courtyard. Oyster lovers can slurp their way through happy hour, when a dozen raw are just $3 with an alcohol purchase. There's also a full menu of Cajun pub food. Open daily. Full restaurant menu Happy hour 4 p.m.-8 p.m. daily.

Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge
7612 Oak St., (504) 861-2802;;
Dive bar
The "dive bar" descriptor gets tossed around a lot these days, but with its omnipresent Christmas decor, an exterior fit for a shantytown and an interior cluttered with warped couches, darkness and bad decisions, Snake and Jake's not only deserves the designation, but elevates it to David Lynchian standards. Open daily. No food. Happy hour 7 p.m.–10 p.m. daily.

The Tasting Room
1906 Magazine St., (504) 581-3880;
Wine bar
Exposed brick walls and comfortable seating give this casual wine bar old New Orleans charm. Black-and-white movies are projected on the wall in the courtyard. The bar offers wine flights and a menu of cheese, charcuterie and small plates. Happy hour features specials on glasses of wine. The lounge is dog-friendly. Open Tue.-Sun. Food available. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.

501 Napoleon Ave., (504) 895-8477;;
Music club
What started as a warehouse space converted to a music hall more than 35 years ago has become a local music institution. Tipitina's presents a mix of local and touring bands, and the bars are open when the club is open for shows, including Sunday afternoon's Cajun dance party. Open for concerts. No food.

Tracey's Original Irish Channel Bar & Restaurant
2604 Magazine St., (504) 897-5413;
Neighborhood bar
Wash down hefty po-boys, boudin, boiled seafood and raw oysters ($10 a dozen Thursday through Sunday) with a beer or bloody mary at this bar while surrounded by 20 TVs and dozens of screaming New Orleans Saints fans and you'll see why it's a hotspot for catching games and UFC fights. There's also a covered outside area with picnic tables. Open daily.
Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 p.m.-7 p.m. weekdays.

Uptown Sports Bar & Grill
3629 Prytania St., (504) 891-8800;;
Sports bar
Located in the Original Italian Pie, the bar serves its own full menu of bar food as well as pizza. The bar has 64 beers on tap and TVs situated around the room for optimal sports viewing. Open daily. Full restaurant menu.


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