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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (2,958 bars; 1,396 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

#2443 - Golden Lantern, New Orleans - 3/16/2014

This is a quintessential gay dive bar, in the French Quarter, but a few blocks northeast of party central, with strong, affordable drinks, jello shots, drag queens on Saturdays, friendly staff, and a mixed crowd every day.

"As the official home of Southern Decadence, the Golden Lantern boasts the smallest performance stage in the entire French Quarter. A popular bar for locals of every persuasion, the Golden Lantern is the source of the best Margarita and best Bloody Mary in the entire city. With two cocktail hours (8 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 9 p.m.), the bar welcomes all and features a myriad of specials including $6 beer pitchers. As the home of Donnie Jay, a former Southern Decadence grand marshal, the Golden Lantern is steeped in Southern Decadence history, and rumor has it that Decadence was actually created here. Commissioned photographs of past grand marshals dot the walls along with a full-size cutout of Marilyn Monroe. Musically, divas rule and video monitors anchor the bar. This is one of the friendliest bars in the city, so don’t be surprised if a stranger offers to buy you a cocktail. He may even be buying for the whole bar!" (

Golden Lantern, New Orleans

Golden, Lantern, New Orleans
(About a year after this photo was taken the sign was
modified to read "Est. 1964")

1239 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 529-2860
Est. 1964
Web site: facebook
Reviews: nola - yelp - tripadvisor - gaycities

Monday, March 28, 2016

#2442 - The Original Pierre Maspero's, New Orleans - 3/16/2014

It is difficult to define how long Pierre Maspero's has included a bar, but it appears to have been operating some kind of cafe under that name since the building was constructed in 1788. Here is a description from the current web site:

"Of all the historic sites in New Orleans, none have witnessed more drama than the old exchange coffee house known as The Original Pierre Maspero’s Slave Exchange. The building is one of the oldest in the French Quarter, having been erected in 1788 by Don Juan Paillet. During the first decades of the 19th century this coffee house was a meeting place where brothers Jean and Pierre Lafitte and their men met to plan escapes. It was also in this historic site that Andrew Jackson met with the Lafitte brothers to plan the defense at the epic Battle of New Orleans. It was at this battle that the British surrendered to the American troops led by Jackson."

Today it is a cajun restaurant known for items like barbecue shrimp in spicy sauce, blackened redfish, and grilled alligator. In the owner's description of their cocktails, "The most popular drink we serve during the summer is our Fruit Daiquiri. In the winter we do pretty well with our Irish Coffee. We also have Hurricanes, Planter's Punch, Pernod Suissesse, the Zombie, and Ramos Gin Fizz."

I don't feel like I had a good enough sample to comment on either cocktails or food (although next time I go I plan to have the seafood pistolettes). But they seemed palatable, and more than worth a visit, particularly when combined with the history and abiding feeling of an 18th century space, with its mixture of brick and plaster, fireplace and hanging pots.

440 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130 - (504) 524-8990
Est. 1788 - Building constructed: 1788
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: mitchellspublications - lafittesblackbox - gayot - yelp - tripadvisor

Sunday, February 28, 2016

#2441 - Napoleon House, New Orleans - 3/15/2014

Napoleon House, New Orleans
"It may not be my very favorite muffuletta in the city, but it is my favorite place to eat a muffuletta in the city," said Jeff, New Orleans food expert -- usatoday

This basically captures my reaction to Napoleon House. Even the famous muffulettas, along with the equally famous Pimm's Cups here, are fine, but hardly worth a special trip in themselves. It is the place that is the attraction -- some say classic French Quarter, but it also feels as if you could be in Rome. The sun pours into the patio and through the open front door, Beethoven's Eroiqua, composed for Napoleon, wafts through the interior, and bare plaster spots on the walls alternate with spots of the paint that is said to have last been applied in 1814. The previously flaking ceiling was freshly painted only at the command of the city.

Napoleon House, New Orleans
It feels historic, and it is. The connection with Napoleon himself is tenuous -- in 1821 the first resident, French born Nicholas Girod, offered the residence to the erstwhile emperor in exile, with transportation from the island of St. Helena provided the banished general by associates of the famous pirate John Lafitte. Girod had been the fifth mayor of New Orleans, serving from 1812 to 1815, that is, up to and including the time General Andrew Jackson repelled the British in the Battle of New Orleans (neither side having yet received word of the treaty signed 15 days before). The plot to rescue the exiled emperor ended prematurely with Napoleon's death in May of that year.

Napoleon House, New Orleans
Nearly a century later, Sicilian immigrant Joseph Impastato started renting the building in 1914, and running a grocery downstairs. In 1920 he purchased the property, and in a side room opened a tavern. It was not an officially licensed tavern, as it was in January of that year that federal prohibition took effect, a measure that appears to have had only modest effects on the alcohol consumption habits of New Orleanians. Impastato ran the bar for 23 years, then passed it to his brother Peter Impastato in 1943. Joseph remained living upstairs in the building, and "holding court at a table on the patio" until he died at age 100. The Impastato family continued to operate the Napoleon House through the date of this visit, until selling it to Ralph Brennan (of Brennan's Restaurant fame) in May of 2015. Brennan has pledged not to change the place, and that is very welcome news indeed.

Napoleon House, New Orleans
Postscript: One final small personal memory: While sipping our Pimm's Cups at the bar, we fell into a friendly conversation with Michael and LSU alum Megan, and discovered that she was a mutual friend of my Seattle co-worker Jeff M. We would run into the same couple again the very next night at The Columns.

Bruschetta, Napoleon House, New Orleans
500 Chartres Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70130 - 504-524-9752
Est. 1920 (as tavern, and during prohibition) - Building constructed: 1794 (expanded 1814)
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: (sale) - - usatoday - wikipedia - neworleansadvocate - fleurty girl video - yelp - tripadvisor

#2440 - Kingfish, New Orleans - 3/15/2014

Kingfish Restaurant, New Orleans
New Orleans has, of course, many more than its share of famous chefs, and a number of top bartenders, and the Kingfish has had changes in both in this visit. On our stop we did not have time to sample the mix of Japanese street food, Cajun and French cuisines, but we did have a couple cocktails from legendary fourth-generation barman Chris McMillian. I've lost my notes on what we drank, but in any case McMillian has moved on to open his own place (Revel) in 2016, and both the kitchen and bar at Kingfish appear to remain in very good hands with new chef Nathan Richard and current bartenders.

Chris McMillian, Kingfish, New Orleans
As the name implies, the restaurant and bar are a paean to the era of prohibition and Huey Long, with bartenders and servers in white shirts and black braces. The cocktail menu is a mix of local classics and new inventions. There is a grand piano, pressed tin bar backing, 30s movies playing, and a large photo of Long. At dinner hours and evenings it is packed and lively.

337 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70125 - (504) 598-5005
Est. April 2013
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: - eater - countryroadsmagazine - bestofneworleans - yelp

Sunday, February 14, 2016

#2439 - Bombay Club, New Orleans - 3/15/2014

The Bombay Club, New Orleans, LA
The Bombay Club in the French Quarter's Prince Conti Hotel is a green and woody paean to the heydays of British colonialism, Cajun cooking, and the great American invention of the martini. This visit came shortly after long-time manager Richard Fiske passed away and his staff departed to open a bar in his name. The group that runs Broussard's and Kingfish took over, remodeled, and installed chef Nathan Richard and bar manager Blake Kaiser. Our group did not have time for dinner this evening, but enjoyed our cocktails and old standards on the piano from our friend Monty Banks.

Monty Banks at the Bombay Club, New Orleans, LA
830 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70112 - (504) 577-2237
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: neworleansadvocate - curbednola - yelp - tripadvisor

Saturday, January 23, 2016

#2438 - Broussard's (Empire Bar), New Orleans - 3/15/2014

On this visit our small group was not here for the elegant, old French restaurant which over it's nearly 100 years has served characters from Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner to Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, and Elizabeth Taylor. Rather we were headed for the new Empire Bar, where the new owners had completed a million dollar remodel, and put its cocktail program in the capable hands of Paul Gustings, who has been granted various titles along the the lines of "the crustiest bartender on earth." Alas, I failed to note the specific cocktails we tried that day, but I do remember that they included a punch and that we enjoyed them all in the shade of the 100-year-old vine in the refurbished patio of the 1874 mansion that eventually grew into Mr. Joseph Broussard's restaurant.

819 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70112 - (504) 581-3866
Est. 1920, current bar 2013
Web site: - facebook
Best articles: nytimes - eater - countryroads - nola - nola - gonomad
More articles: theneworleansadvocateyelptripadvisor - neworleans - 10best - punchdrink

#2437 - Tony Seville's Pirate Alley Cafe, New Orleans - 3/15/2014

There's nothing wrong with a little Disneylandish corner in an historic setting, especially when they are pouring absinthe. The staff are friendly and the vibe is lively but not loud or overly crowded.

622 Pirates Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 524-9332
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

#2436 - Cane & Table, New Orleans - 3/15/2014

Cane and Table, New Orleans, LA

The basement of my house started out being decorated as a goth bar and rather suddenly shifted to a tiki bar. How that happened is kinda a long story, but a similar thing happened to Pravda, this beautifully dark and ornately formal, Soviet-themed space on Decatur Street. I loved that bar and hated to see it go. But if the evil empire had to collapse, one could do a lot worse for a replacement than a "Rustic Colonial Cuisine and Proto-Tiki" joint. And we're not talking some cheesy, overly sweet bastardizations of tiki -- we're talking an ownership team from the highly regarded Cure and Bellocq hiring rum master Nick Detrich to devise a menu of well-balanced, Caribbean themed, pre-prohibition era and tiki style drinks.

The vibe has gone from dark to what feels like relaxing in a sunny plaza in Havana. This is especially true on the back patio, where strange gods mix unobtrusively, from tikis to faded Egyptian figures, all around one of the older buildings in all of New Orleans. There are nights with well known guest bartenders (including Beachbum Berry) and an "all you can drink brunch." It is now a place where it is easy to linger.

1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 581-1112               
Est. 2013
Previous bars in this location: Pravda
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: eater - nola - nola10best - yelp - zagat - neworleansonline

#2435 - 3 legged Dog Tavern, New Orleans - 3/14/2014

Three Legged Dog, New Orleans, LA
One of so many bars in the New Orleans that in any other town would probably be your favorite bar in the city, the Three Legged Dog is known for their crawfish, boiled with corn, potatoes, pineapple, sausage, garlic, artichokes, and heaped onto places from a huge bin.

Three Legged Dog, New Orleans, LA
Three Legged Dog, New Orleans, LA
(Photo from bar's facebook page)

400 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70112 - (504) 412-8335             
Web site: facebook
Reviews: hungrycityblog - yelp - tripadvisor

#2434 - The Upper Quarter, New Orleans - 3/14/2014

The Upper Quarter has a nice, genuine dive feel to it. It is known as a big gathering place for New Orleans Saints fans, and one can only assume that its taken them a substantial number of pudding shots to handle recent seasons.

1000 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112 - (504) 523-4111
Web site: facebook
Reviews: bestofneworleans - yelp - tripadvisor

#2433 - Rita's Tequila House, New Orleans - 3/14/2014

This was not a targeted bar but rather one of those we're-ready-for-another-drink-now stops. As a group of youngish women started awkwardly dancing and grinding with each other behind us, we requested a couple of to-go cups. "Yeah, I'd want to leave too," the bartender told us.

417 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130 - (504) 298-8227
Web site:

#2432 - Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, New Orleans - 3/14/2014

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, New Orleans, LA
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is a charming candlelit French Colonial cottage that basically caps the northeast end of the party zone on Bourbon Street. It is very common to hear that Laffitte's is "the oldest bar in the country," the "oldest continually operating bar in the country," the "oldest building hosting a bar," and once the home or business of pirate/adventurers Jean and Pierre Laffitte. Each of the first three claims is manifestly untrue (I recommend Jay Brooks' page for a pretty good assessment of oldest bars in the U.S.) and the latter claim is highly dubious. But the building is very old - variously reported as built between 1722 and 1732 or between 1772 and 1791 (I lean toward the latter since this is the range favored by the History Department of the University of New Orleans). It has certainly not been operating strictly as bar since that time, and appears to have hosted a variety of businesses from a dentist's office to a combination cobbler and oyster shop (nolamyths). A more likely claim to being the oldest continually operating bar in the city is made the Old Absinthe House, which appears to have been officially serving liquor fairly continuously (with a substantial exception for prohibition) since the 1880s.

However, Lafitte's may well have started as a bar in the 18th century, and it appears to have become a cafe with a barroom permit in 1933 (nolamyths), the year federal prohibition ended. It was established then as "Cafe Lafitte" by Mary Collins, Harold Bartell, and Thomas Caplinger, and over the next two decades attracted some famous clientele: "The cafe became a popular night spot that attracted a bohemian clientele, including the gay community and celebrities like Noël Coward and Tennessee Williams. However, Caplinger never held clear title to the property and the building was sold in 1953. He soon opened a second cafe at the other end of the same block named Café Lafitte in Exile, which maintains that it is the oldest gay bar in the U.S." (wikipedia).

Currently the bar is popular with both locals and tourists, still lit virtually entirely by candles, and will serve anything from a nice Sazerac cocktail to one of those horrifically candy-flavored vodka and everclear monstrosities favored by certain tourists aiming to lose their inhibitions.

941 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 593-9761
Est. 1940s - Building constructed: Between 1772 and 1791
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: link - nola - wikipedia - nolamythsneworleans - roadtrippers - - punch - tebeau - oldneworleanshauntedhouses - yelp - tripadvisor - thrillist

#2431 #S1227 - Din Tai Fung, Seattle - 3/11/2014

Din Tai Fung, Seattle
In creating this blog post for the U Village instance of Din Tai Fung I've noticed that I never created an entry for the earlier Bellevue version -- no doubt overlooked because I did not go to the bar until after I'd eaten there a few dozen times. Had I written about the Bellevue location, this post could have simply referred back to that one, as it is the same serviceable bar, the same small army of cooks methodically hand-preparing dumplings behind a window, the same regrettable, busy mall location, the same long lines to get in (despite room for 230), and the same lovely, lovely food that makes it all more than worthwhile.

Shrimp and pork wontons in spicy sauce
Din Tai Fung, Seattle
The wait is mitigated by DTF's support for the NoWait app, which you can use to reserve a place in line, if you are that prepared, or if you are not, to track the number of parties ahead of you. The latter feature allows you to loll around in Barnes and Noble until you see there are just one or two groups ahead of you. Mark Davis's bar program for the local restaurants is satisfying, and while you won't typically want to brave the mall crowds just for the bar, it can occasionally payoff as a shortcut to a seat for small parties.

Foodies will need no introduction to the Taiwanese Din Tai Fung chain -- they serve what have been called "the world's greatest dumplings," the Hong Kong restaurant has a Michelin star, and the New York Times named them one of the top ten gourmet restaurants in the world. At last count there were only 5 Din Tai Fungs in the U.S., with 2 in the Seattle area, and a 3rd on it's way (to yet another busy mall, alas -- someone needs to convince owner David Yang Wasielewski to build one on a nice waterfront location). The first northwest DTF in Bellevue caused a minor sensation when it opened in 2010, and hopes that eventually you could get in for either lunch or dinner without waiting in line have been futile.

DTF is most famous for its "xiao long bao" soup dumplings, but for my money the best item on the menu is the shrimp and pork wontons with spicy sauce. But you can't go wrong here, so if you are going for the first time it's nice to have a large group that is happy to share many items (and don't overlook the Shanghai rice cakes with pork or the cucumber salad). It won't be a cheap meal and it probably won't be a short wait, but you'll be happy you did it.

2621 NE 46th St, Seattle, WA 98105 - (206) 525-0958
Est. Dec 29, 2013 - Building constructed: 2013
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: - facebook
Articles Ranked: thrillist - seriouseats - seattleweekly - seattletimes - heelsfirsttravelseattlemet - seattlemet - forbesyelp - tripadvisor - zagat - eater

#2430 #S1226 - Traveler Montlake, Seattle - 3/10/2014

Traveler Montlake, Seattle
Traveler Montlake is the sort of place you want to pull into after being out in the snow or rain for a while, when you're in the mood for a meal that is well made, not too common but not too fancy, and to sit by the fire with a hot cocktail of some sort. It is very Seattle-y, from the allegiance to the Huskies and local sports teams to the sweaters and jeans crowd. Most of this was probably also the case for several previous joints in this location, from the Montlake Alehouse the decade preceding it back to the 50s when UW students would bring their prime rib sandwiches from Perry Kelly's Big-K Bar-B-Q here to Jilly's East. But this incarnation, from Devlin McGill of the Leary Traveler and Nabob, is more pleasant for adults -- with more creative food (though still centered around American comfort foods), better cocktails, and elimination of the family-friendly conversation-pit area for kids.

Traveler Montlake, Seattle
I chatted with bartender Anna, who designed the bar program, and tried a 1776 Boulevardier (I liked this, though I prefer the classic, which is one of my favorites). I also had a very good Argentinean Roast Pork Sandwich and curry carrot mango soup (which comes around in the rotation now and then).

Argentinan roast pork sandwich with curry carrot mango soup
Traveler Montlake, Seattle
2307 24th Ave E, Seattle, Washington 98112-2606 - (206) 946-6980
Est. Feb 23, 2014 - Building constructed: 1922
Previous bars in this location: Jilly's East, Grady's, Bleachers, Montlake Ale House
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: capitolhillseattle - thestranger - yelp - tripadvisor