From Bourbon St. to Pirate's Alley PART TWO
Here are five more easy-to-find spots for drinking and fun in the famous Old Quarter of New Orleans.
1. CHART ROOM Come and enjoy yourself at a great bar. The Chart Room is located at 300 Chartres Street. It’s open from 11:00 am to 4:00 am. It has a historical patina on the walls, creaky furniture inside and outdoor seating for people watching. More directly, it’s a low-key, cash-only French Quarter bar that sports an old-school jukebox.
A visitor from Texas had this to say about this famous dive bar. “We stumbled across this place on our first day and ended up going back every night. It’s a great place to meet locals as well as tourists.” And a traveler from the United Kingdom writes, “This is a gem of a bar in the French Quarter without FQ prices. I visited it six times.”
2. FRENCH 75 is located at 813 Bienville Street and is open from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Their bartenders have a life outside of work. This spot is all wood and patrician accents but the staff is friendly and down-to-earth. Cocktails at this bar start at $10.50 and go up. There’s a Jazz Brunch on Sundays from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The brunch menu looks terrific: Belgian waffles, turtle soup and shrimp bisque are offered as appetizers while entrees include: Eggs Benedict, ($33.50) and Omelette Au Fromage, ($34.00) that’s served with crunchy potato shoestrings. Everything sounds mouth-watering and delicious.
3. LAFITTE’S BLACKSMITH SHOP is right on Bourbon Street at 941 and it’s open from 10:30 am to 3:00 am. Do people really start drinking that early? I mean, aside from the actor Richard Burton who, I believe, died a happy man. This bar is a brick cottage that claims to be the oldest operating bar in the country. Rumor has it that this spot was once the workshop of pirate Jean Lafitte and his brother, Pierre.
Here’s a to-the-point comment from a Kentucky visitor who sums up Lafitte’s very well. “Nice place to grab a drink in a bar that’s historic – has lots of wood and stone. It’s dark at night; no food is served – probably a smart choice for all.
4. CANE & TABLE bar is the second one on our list that’s on Decatur – it’s at 1113 and is open from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm Monday to Thursday and to midnight on Friday and Saturday. C&T offers a romantically faded interior and an outdoor courtyard. The bar serves “proto-tiki” cocktails that the owner defines as “the tropical cocktail culture before the heyday of Don the Beachcomber in 1934.” This tells me nothing.
“The ribs were spectacular” according to one diner. “Some people may have a stroke when they read $17 for six baby ribs – but, trust me, they are a must-try. I just reviewed the drinks menu. Sorry, I still don’t get the proto-tiki reference – totally escapes me.
5. THE CAROUSEL BAR is at 214 Royal Street and is open from 11:00 am until “late” – which doesn’t tell you much. This is a smart-looking spot inside the historic Monteleone (a luxury hotel that is one of the last great family-owned-and-operated hotels in New Orleans). The hotel has been in business since 1886. Five generations of the family have dedicated themselves to making their hotel what it was – and still is – a sparkling jewel in the heart of the French Quarter.
A Seattle, Washington visitor gives an excellent description of this bar. “This ‘circus ride theme’ bar is inside the Monteleone Hotel. While sitting at the bar, your seat AND the bar top rotate slowly around the bar – all the bartenders remain stationary. What a hoot! A tourist from Florida describes the drinks as “good and strong plus the bartenders are very attentive.” A New Yorker (naturally) says, “Go during down times or you’ll find a line of folks who want to sit at the moving bar.” I laughed when I read this – it’s something I would say. Us Manhattan guys are very big on SPEED. No waiting for us!
Between last week’s blog and this one you should have a good idea of where to go for drinks in the French Quarter. CLICK HERE to take a gander at Part 1.