Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Best Bars in New Orleans for the DayDrinker

The following is a list of the best Bars in New Orleans for the DayDrinker. It's broken up into Neighborhoods. Please feel free to do the same for you city.


French Quarter

The Erin Rose
811 Conti St.
Home base, the office. I love this bar. Sassy, rude, loud, awesome bartenders. Good jukebox. Right off Bourbon but very local. Tourists wander in and some even stay. Very entertaining, especially after 4am when the strippers get off work.

Molly’s at the Market
2400 block of Decatur
This bar stayed open during and after hurricane Katrina. Stone floors, local vibe, almost always open. Another great place to watch people. There is nothing funnier then smiley tourists sitting next to lower Decatur locals.
Aunt Tiki’s
1207 Decatur
Heavy metal Jukebox, horror movie themed place with Tikki elements. Strange. This is a great dive.

The Abby
1123 Decadur
If you are still awake at 9am and can’t even think of sleeping, go to the Abby. Light is not able to pass into the Abby even though the door is always open. The king of all dive bars.

Ryan’s Irish Pub
241 Decatur
Pool table, nice bartenders, open and sunny. Daydrinkers meet here to start the day.
Boondock Saint
731 Saint Peters St
It used to be the Velvet Dog. Right in the middle of the quarter. Right next to Yo Mamma’s.

Yo Mamma’s
727 Saint Peters St
Best Burger in the quarter, fuck Port of Call. Yo Mamma’s has a one pound burger…Mmmmm gluttony Also, great Tequila selection.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
941 Bourbon St
This is one of the oldest structures standing in the quarter. It’s dark and cool. Makes you feel like a pirate. There is a senile old man who plays the piano. It’s one of those piano’s that’s also a bar. He sings songs that everyone sings along to. You will probably here Sweet Caroline twice every hour. If you want to drink, expect to go broke before getting drunk.

The Dungeon
738 Toulouse St
Dark, goth metal. Stone walls. It’s a dungeon.

The Alibi


Uptown

Monkey Hill
6100 Magazine St
Upscale bar with a full size pool table. Sexy bartenders. Yuppie feel unless you go at the right time. Right time: before 8pm or after 3am.

The Bulldog
3236 Magazine St
Good food. Excellent daydrinkers spot. Lot’s of beer taps, good looking uptown people, dog friendly. Patio with a beer tap fountain.

Snake & Jakes Christmas bar
7612 Oak St
This bar is in the top five New Orleans dive bars. Surrounded on both sides by residential houses in a residential neighborhood, Snake & Jakes was built in a house. It opens late but stays open long after the sun is high in the sky. Christmas lights and fucked up college students. I was there at 7am when a car pulled up, crashed into a parked car and the owner got out brushed himself off and went inside.

The Saint
961 St Mary’s St
It looks like a 1970’s basement. There is a picture booth in the corner in case you need an excuse and a place to hook up. They play cult classics on the tv and you can get a Papst Blue Ribbon and a shot for something ridicules like 3 dollars. This Bar was opened by Sean Yseult, who was the sexy chick bassist for White Zombie. That alone makes it cool.

BalconyBar
3201 Magazine St
Old New Orleans house converted into a bar. Big Balcony where you can eat, drink and spit at people down below. Opens at 4pm, not convenient to datdrinkers.

Rendezvous
3101 Magazine St.
Pool table, great happy hour specials: Two for one well drinks. Also they have a video game machine that has 1980’s games like Donkey Kong and Zaxxon. Of course I’ve never played. I’ve just heard about it.

Le Bon Temps
4801 Magazine St.
I would call this place a roadhouse. Great music and a cool look to it. It’s very New Orleans. Good at night, shitty during the day. Not good for daydrinkers, unless you forgot to go home when the sun set.

The Circle Bar
1032 St Charles
Another old house converted into a bar. Beautifully divey. Local music at night. Cool drinks like a martini with beef-jerky olives.

Columns
3811 St Charles
Big, old, stately hotel with a wood paneled upscale bar. Large front porch great for a gin and tonic on a hot day.

Dos Jeffes
5535 Tchoupitoulas St
Cigar bar with New Orleans jazz. Good for a change of pace. Cheap pool table and good scotch selection.

Miss Mae’s
4336 Magazine St.
Cheapest drinks ever, it’s like the dollar store for drunks. Open during daydrinker friendly hours. The only problem is it’s filled with baseball cap backwards, dip chewing frat guys and their female counterparts.

Marigney/Bywater

Saturn Bar
3067 St Claude St
Add this bar to the top five dives ever. Enter the shady looking entrance and you will find a dark room full of flee market furniture and your creepy uncles knick knacks. Under the old ownership you had to walk over engine parts and broken air conditioners. Since then they have cleaned it up a bit., but only a little.

Markeys Bar
640 Louisa
Perfect daydrinker spot. Open all day and most of the night. Free pool, 50 cent shuffleboard. Good sleepy spot where you can sit and drink the day away.

MiMi’s
2601 Royal St
Mimi’s is a two story bar with a classic New Orleans feel. Candles on the wall, oversized windows, and an ancient air-conditioning unit that takes up half of the ceiling. The second floor has cool art work on the walls and live music. The decor is that of a comfortable living room. Good Tapas menu. Try the pork.
BJ’s
Lesseps & Burgundy
This is a neighborhood bar. Living room easy chairs, old TV’s. I once sat there all afternoon watching America’s Home Videos with a barfull of strangers. We laughed our asses off and drank the day away. Good jukebox.

Vaughn’s
800 Lessepps St
Another old roadhouse. This bar is like traveling back in time. Great blues and Jazz. Though there is no kitchen I was in there one night where they brought in soul food for the whole bar.

DBA
618 Frenchman St
Easy like a Sunday morning. This is a great place to waste a day. Great everything selection. Booze of every color. Tons of beer. Warm vibe, the floors, walls and ceiling are wood. It feels like a log cabin. DBA has some of the best live music in town. Go there in the afternoon, order a Mcshooof Belgian beer (however it’s spelled), strike up a conversation with a smart bartender and enjoy.

Spotted Cat
623 Frenchman
Shack full of live music. It can get crowded at night but is almost empty during the day. If it’s too crowded, order a drink, stand outside and enjoy the sounds and smells of a great New Orleans Street.

R Bar
1431 Royal St
This is one of the coolest places ever, without the bunch of douche bags who usually frequent cool places. Awesome tattooed bartenders. Airline seats, barber chair where they offer a drink and a cut one night a week, huge projection screen where they show movies you actually want to see, and shrimp boils, crawfish boils, and other food events all for free.

Other
The Crown & Anchor
200 Pelican St
This bar is Cheers from England. Beautiful English pub with authentic English owner. Cast of characters who entertain those who walk in looking for the Old Point (see below). C & A is a true neighborhood pub with theme parties and BBQ on Sundays and other events. Go in and tell them you want to have a party for Richard Millhouse Nixon’s wedding anniversary and the whole neighborhood will come out in costume.

The Naughty Knight
34 Westbank Expressway
I’m always nervous going into a bar when the door has no window. You never know what you are going to get. The Naughty Knight is a dive for pro’s only. It reminds me of Henry Hill’s Bar in Goodfella’s, the one where Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro helped Joe Pesci get rid of the body. Sketchy people on either side of the bar and I love it. How many places can you go these days where you don’t know if you are coming out alive.

Old Point
545 Paterson Dr.

Old historic bar in Algiers point. Great during the day. Pool table, cheap drinks, plastic chairs outside to pass the time. They must be in every historic tour book about New Orleans because tourists come from all over to see it. When they get there they see me, sipping a drink by myself. At night they have good music and a crowd. Some guy shows up and sells BBQ on the street.


----Go to all these places and you will know the city in and out. You will also have enough friends in high places to get away with a dead hooker in the trunk of your car. Can't wait to see what your chapter can put together.


J

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Drinking Music

Tom Waits writes about drinking and thinking and being all around creepy better then anyone else I know. While getting ready to go out, being out, and falling down at the end, no one sings my theme song better then Waits. Sample Filipino Box Spring Hog. “Naked to the Waist with my fierce black hound”. Tom’s out there in the heat, cooking up a Filipino Box Spring Hog, whatever the hell that is. Also, Jesus Gonna Be Here. Tom’s been good…except for drinking….but he knew that I would. I suggest picking up Rain Dogs, Real Gone, Bone Machine and Orphans. Don’t bother me ‘till you’ve marinated in these songs for a few weeks.

Morning 40 Federation is a New Orleans band. They sing about drinking, drugs, not bathing, and not being sorry for ant of it. Horns, guitars, and stink. Get off the couch and find one of their two CD’s. This is a band that plays to our sensibilities. Check out tracks In The Bottle, Sorry Mom, (I’m a Drunk), and Drinkin’ Gin Instead Of Whisky Tonight. That should get you started.

Any Old Black Blues Legend. May I suggest Muddy Waters, Bo Diddly, or John Lee Hooker. Work out your angst, pretend you have angst, smile knowingly. Muddy and Bo both do a kick ass version of Manish Boy. John Lee Hooker can drop his guitar down a flight of stairs and it’s genius. Learn from the pain, then dull it.

The Doors knew what they were talking about. At least Jim did. “Show me the way to the next whisky bar” Show me Jim, show me. When the Music’s Over is twenty or so minutes of I don’t know what, but it’s good.

Be selective when picking you Frank Sinatra but don’t overlook him. Summer Wind smells like a gin and tonic. One for my Baby is a tall glass of Bourbon. Drinking Again smacks of mixing it all in the same glass. Frank is to be respected, but please, feel free to punch out anyone who puts A Very Good Year in the Jukebox.

What Makes a Good Bar?

What Makes a Good Bar?


I recently posed this question to my fellow daydrinkers. We know one when we see one but can we narrow down the qualities? Is it the booze selection? The Music? The D├ęcor? Here are some of the Answers I received.

J



-It should smell bad but not too bad, just not good.
-There should be more than 2 females other than the bartender.
-The bartender should make believe they care what you are talking about.
-A wide beer selection is not necessary, but there should be enough of a variety of liquor for you to order a Screaming Viking. Buy booze. It won’t go bad.
-Allow smoking in a city that does not allow smoking in bars.
-Bacon Vodka! Bacon Vodka! Bacon Vodka!
-A tattooed, semi-attractive bartender who can make you laugh, insult you, and probably kick your ass.
-Bar “sports” that make any drunk feel like a great athlete, such as, darts, pool, golden-tee and foosball.
-The jukebox has the same songs that it has had since the day it was installed, and no one seems to care.
-Your name is screamed as you enter the bar, and your drink of choice is poured by the time you hit your stool.
-Last call is never called early, and never called at all for regulars.
-Your Guinness will never come in fewer than three pours.
-No cover. You should not have to pay to pay for drinks.
-If there must be a live band they should make me want to stay and drink more.
-The Three Wise Men must be present (Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, and Johnny Walker).
-No fancy glasses. Operating a pint glass is hard enough.
-Day specific drink specials. Drinkers can practice math and organize their calendar.



-Milhouse


What makes a good bar?

I often wonder why certain people migrate and cluster to certain watering holes.
What is it about a place that makes a bar feel cozy, warm and comfortable? Is it the other like minded people that make you feel accepted? Is it the atmosphere, the bathrooms, the bartenders, the stools, the sports they play on monitors? Maybe it is the connection of all of the above?

Personally I look at a cross section of all the bars I have frequented over the years and try to make a delineated model. No survey needed, just a process of modeling the perfect bar, if there is such a utopia.

Scanning such bars I used to frequent in Venice Beach,California, I think of some great ones which now lay by the wayside. What I mean are the bars that used to be comfortable dive bars such as ‘The Brig’ on Abbott Kinnee or the ‘Circle Bar’ on Main Street in Santa Monica, both used to be local hangs that were unpretentious and relaxing to sit and have a beer. Both now have become ultra trendy west side versions of what Hollywood keeps spewing out. Overpriced, un-relaxing metaphors for the too cool school of upwardly hip. Why is it I NEVER find interesting people to talk to in there? I mean I bring talent to the picture. I have great intellectual friends that I love to hang with but if I need to sit and relax and none of my friends schedule adheres to mine, I am not afraid to drink alone. In fact I relish it because then I get to go and meet someone new. I find way more interesting conversations in the grungy ‘dive’ bars. Like minded people looking to strike up an interesting conversation about art, literature, travel, drugs, escapism from our pathetic lives…

I guess I need the jukebox, the peanuts on the floor, and the cheap pitchers of beer to lubricate the conversation. The music needs to be loud, but not so much as to deaden the conversation, more of a stimulant by having classic and interesting musical genres. ‘Hinanos’ on Washington Blvd and the beach still maintains that exact flair. Pool tables are a nice addition for a break from the stool. You will always see smiling drunkards here; this is a gem in a Mecca of hellish trendy soulless bars.

A few steps away from ‘Hinanos’ is another hot spot, ‘Baja Cantina’, more like a pickup joint than a bar, but a great hang all the same. Great for Sunday afternoons after rollerblading on the boardwalk, Baja Cantina is a fun place to eat free chips and salsa while drinking large strong margaritas. The talent is pretty strong, but conversation is pretty weak. There is a great menu of food, an outdoor area, and many areas to hideaway and drink with a date. Furnished with Moorish - Hacienda blend, the flavor the wooden highlights command a warm comfortable feeling. All in all, a good bar for an afternoon chill spot. The feeling I get is pretty warm and comfortable and I can not ever remember a bad time there. Not a fighting bar atmosphere, which will always allow for a female clientele, so if you are looking to find someone this is a better bet than some of the louder trendier places or the dirtier dive bars.

I reside now in Waikiki Beach and am traveling this summer to learn about the bars in Hawaii. Funny thing is the one really good dive bar that I found here, ‘Spinners’, seems to have just closed. Price per drink was always an attractive element of this place as was the color and character of its patrons. Salty Hawaiians and locals abound. I even went to wet my whistle last night but the chains and bars were wrapped tight locked. What happened? I must investigate further since was the only place I had found that drunkards and degenerates all commingled with applausable harmony.

‘Lulu’s’ around the corner from there, sports an incredibly friendly staff and is very comfortable to get a drink. Tourists and locals blend here due to its amazing location and comfortable surf bar environment. Sitting literally across the street from the beautiful Kapiolani Park and Waikiki Beach it is a favorite to watch the sunset sitting on the second floor as tourists, volleyballers, surfers and the like stroll by. Drinks are a little more expensive than ‘Spinners’ but the scenery is clean and exotic. Wooden surf boards reminiscent of Dukes surround the walls and videos of soccer, surf, and baseball are on the monitors above the bar. This is a one room large bar format that just works due to its location. Warm and friendly atmosphere make it family friendly at certain hours, but that changes into the night.

There are numerous reasons certain bars attract its customers but the overall feeling is present and known immediately by the bar goers. I can walk into a place and within five seconds know if there is a new love in my life. Yes I liken a bar to love because I find beauty in its intricacies, its warmth, its social availability and its power. Much like a good woman, I need to feel its love back and embrace it with an open heart. And so I march on, my friend, finding new loves and embracing the future. I love to love and so be damn all crap bars.

I guess in writing this I have come to the finality that there is no such perfect bar because each bar is singular in its vision and perfect in its uniqueness. Much like a woman…


-Jordan

Ahh, the good bar. Is there anything better? No there isn’t. After spending your day out there in the world, where you are at the mercy of fate, it’s good to know there is a place you can go to relax. A place where everything makes sense. A place where the bottles pour but never run out. I’m sure everyone has a different notion of what makes a good bar. I’ll try to explain mine.

A good bar is like a big time out in life. It’s home base. Remember when you were a kid and you played tag? There was a home base. You couldn’t get tagged if you were there. A good bar is like that. Lets face it, you’ve been treated like shit all day. Those condescending assholes think they’re so smart. Do this, do that, you can’t come in here without pants on, sir. Now it’s your time. That’s right, you’ve earned it. Come on in, get out of the cold, have a drink, something to take the edge off. Finally it’s time for someone to wait on you. Hopefully someone who’s quick with the light of your smoke. They smile at you. They give you a knowing glance. They know how hard your day was because they are in the middle of their day right then and there. And you secretly enjoy that. That’s right. One perk for being in your bar is that no matter how much you love your bartender, you enjoy the fact that someone is at work, and it is not you. Ha Ha.

I have a love for the dive bar. The more car parts I have to step over to get a drink, the better. Maybe it stems from a childlike urge to go back to the tree house. You know, you and your friends, getting things done, bathing in vice. The dive bars I love are usually red inside. A need for the womb? Probably. The music? Old dead blues men, Hard rock that has no business being played in public, strange regional fare. To each bar come it’s own soundtrack. You should be able to feel the place then pick the music. There is nothing worse then someone, (usually in your group) who totally misreads the place and ruins the vibe with “their music”. Just because you like a song does not mean it is appropriate everywhere you go. I hate country music like the clap, but if im in a shit kicker honky tonk in the middle of New Mexico I will rise to the occasion and play it up. Enjoy the surroundings. People who can’t adapt are already dead. But wait, I’m ranting now.

Nothing is as special as the combination of good atmosphere, good music, and interesting people. Oh yeah, and hooch. You need that or else the place you are hanging out in would be called something else.


J

Welcome to DDS

Welcome home good drinkers. This place is for you. Forever we have been out there on the streets, forced to walk the night like common vampires. They tried to keep us shrouded by the dark. I am here to say you no longer need to squint and hide from the sun. Embrace it. Tell that jerk next to you in the diner to get his own Makers on the rocks and stop glaring at yours. So what if it’s 7AM on a Tuesday. Since I can remember they have looked down their nose at us. Let me quote fellow daydrinker Milhouse:

"Why should time of day dictate when I drink? I want pancakes for dinner and whiskey for breakfast. I don't care that it's 5:00p.m somewhere. It's 8:30a.m. I'm late for work, and I'm drinking a warm flat high life left from the night before".

Like I said welcome home. We are not drunks, we are hobbyists. Some prefer to play sports, some work out, we would rather ride bikes in a crowded city during peak hours carefully balancing a drink in on hand while the other steers masterfully from one pub to the next. We would rather spend our day carefully switching from Guinness to screwdrivers, then gin and tonics, finally bourbon…but only as the sun sets thus providing our body’s with proper nourishment to sustain us while keeping our temperaments even throughout a fourteen hour session. You try that, “volleyball guy”.

We have been guilted into thinking this behavior is somehow inappropriate. No longer. We are here to celebrate our lifestyle. Stop asking if you drink too much. Stop asking if it’s wrong to drink alone. You can’t drink alone if you are part of a society right? That’s one problem solved already. We’re going good here. Really rolling up our sleeves and taking this thing on head on.

The idea to band together like this came to be in the heart of New Orleans, where this thing of ours is not only tolerated, but applauded. Friends and family come here to become daydrinkers on vacation. No longer. Take to the streets of your fair city and start a trend. Start a chapter. Enjoy your hobby to the best of your ability. Don’t sell yourself short.

Any Joe can go to a bar and get drunk. It takes a special person to go to ten bars and mix drinks like a mad chemist. We salt of the earth drinkers know that of your stomach is unhappy, hit him with a white Russian. Feeling tired? Tequila is the best way to put gas in your tank. Jim Morrison was a daydrinker before his time. When the lizard king was hungry, he ordered a Pina Colada…extra fruit.

We hope this site is helpful to you. We will be adding new things all the time. Tell us you stories, send us your pictures, celebrate the challenging but rewarding lifestyle that you live. We’re daydrinkers after all. Cheers.

J