Whatever You Desire: We've Got It
In the past months we’ve covered Bourbon, Royal and Frenchmen Streets in detail so now we’re going to move on to two lesser-known spots: St. Claude and Freret Avenues.
ST. CLAUDE AVE: everything from soup to nuts
This emerging avenue was known as Good Children until 1850. The St. Claude Corridor, as it’s often called, is home to a number of pubs, theatres and restaurants that have joined the old, classic Saturn Bar (in business 62 years) to create a destination for dining and fun.
St. Claude Avenue goes from Esplanade to the Industrial Canal – a distance of less than three miles that’s chock full of action. The corridor is home to the nicely restored St. Roch Market food hall, restaurants such as Red’s Chinese, The Sneaky Pickle and Sugar Park plus galleries and performance spaces.
It runs through the downtown neighborhoods of Marigny and Bywater – then into Holy Cross and the Lower Ninth Ward. At one point it was renamed for Claude Tremé who came from France to New Orleans in the late 18th century. This avenue has a history of reinvention and change. In recent years music clubs, coffee shops, dance studios and art galleries have appeared. In short, it has something for everyone. Let’s take a look.
I. THE HI HO LOUNGE: It hosts nightly shows with local musicians as well as weekly bluegrass jam sessions. It also features improv and burlesque performances. Delicious food specialties are served in the courtyard.
II. SIBERIA is a music club offering live music that features everything from heavy metal to blues. The kitchen comes up with delicious borscht (beet soup), kielbasa (a tasty Polish sausage) and beef stroganoff plus brunch on the weekend.
III. CAFÉ INSTANBUL has open mike storytelling competitions, live music, acrobatic and belly dance performances. Note: belly dancing is considered to be the oldest form of dance by many historical experts. Its roots have been traced to the Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa.
IV. ST. ROCH MARKET was first built in 1875 as an open-air public market. In the second half of the 20th century it was a seafood market. Then in 2014 it became an upscale food court and is considered the perfect place to dine or drink with a group.
V. There are many more things to see on St. Claude Avenue – here are a few of the more unusual ones: The New Orleans Boulder Lounge (climbing at low heights with no ropes or harnesses; Restoration Thrift – sells used clothing, furniture, household items; and Maypop Community Herb Shop – for soaps, medicinal herbs, teas, lotions and essential oils.
FRERET AVE: cafes, bistros, bars and clubs
VI. This street is having an exciting revival. Come and explore new shops between Jefferson Avenue (to the west), Napoleon Avenue (to the east), LaSalle Street (to the south) Freret is a great idea for lunch or a leisurely stroll.
VII. THE FRERET BEER ROOM has 16 constantly rotating tap lines that show off beer’s complex range of flavors. One happy customer says, “We liked not waiting. We sipped $5.00 mimosas and loved every minute.”
VIII. CURE is an adult bar and only permits adults 21 and up – that includes babies. (I’m laughing at this.) One happy camper says, “We loved this place! Come here if you’re looking for a nice cocktail bar.”
IX. COMPANY BURGER was voted “the best burger in New Orleans” – even better – you can finish it off with a milkshake.
X. GASA GASA is where local musicians perform nightly from Monday to Saturday – Gasa Gasa also presents film screenings and has recording sessions. The mural on the side of their building makes for great shots.