Links: The Project | Seattle's Oldest Bars | Washington's Oldest Bars | Pete's Favorites | Favorite Reviews | Interesting Bars | Contact Pete

Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,089 bars; 1,434 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, October 16, 2016

#2480 - R Bar, New Orleans - 3/22/2014

R Bar, New Orleans, LA
The R Bar is the beverage part of the Royal Street Inn "bed and beverage." If you stay in one of the inn's five rooms here you will receive some free drink tokens for the lively bar on the ground floor (although it appears the Bukowski Suite no longer exists?). The B&B is part owned by Greg Dulli, who started to grow fond of it when he and the rest of the Afghan Whigs spent considerable time here during the recording of their album "1965" in 1998, and it played a significant part in the revival of Frenchmen Street.

R Bar, New Orleans, LA
The bar has a pleasantly dark and intimate interior, and much of it resembles a fairly typical neighborhood dive except that it is so lively in the evenings. There are lots of chaotically collected artifacts, without being too kitschy, and various weekly events. On Mondays you can get a $10 haircut with a free shot. On Fridays there is a crawfish boil. On other days there are pig roasts and Paint Along With Bob Ross nights. The crowd is fun and it's yet another bar in this city that could be your absolute favorite in virtually any other town.

1431 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 948-7499
Est. 1995
Previous bars in this location: Griffins
Web site: - facebook  
Reviews: roadtrippers - noladefender - yelp - bestofneworleans

Saturday, October 15, 2016

#2479 - Melvin's Bar, New Orleans - 3/22/2014

Melvin "Grease" Hoerner, namesake and long-time owner of Melvin's Bar, passed away in April of 2011 at the age of 72. His classic dive bar in Marigny remains, although it can appear to be closed and the front screen door is locked, requiring you to buzz the doorbell and have someone let you in (such precautions did not prevent it from being burglarized in 2015). In virtually any other city it would be the best dive in town, but here in the Big Easy it has to settle in somewhere in the top 10 or 15.

2112 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 944-0088
Web site: facebook
Reviews: - instagram - yelp - thrillist - yahoo - neworleansonline

#2478 - Vaughan's, New Orleans - 3/22/2014

Vaughn's, New Orleans, LA
The legendary Kermit Ruffins gigs here ended in August of 2013, but the jazz still flows on Thursday nights (and only Thursday nights, by virtue of an agreement with the residential neighbors). On other days, if the door is locked you can ring the buzzer to have someone let you in.

Of the 20 years when Ruffins held court here the Times-Picayune notes: 'Such celebrities as Lenny Kravitz, Wynton Marsalis, members of the Rolling Stones, and Harry Connick Jr. -- who played nearly an entire set on piano one night, wearing a T-shirt and jeans -- turned up to sit in with Ruffins and his combo, the Barbecue Swingers. The first-season premiere episode of HBO's "Treme" featured a scene in which Elvis Costello shows up at Vaughan's to hear Ruffins. Basin Street Records released a live album recorded at the club that was as loose and raw as the show.' (gonola)

Vaughn's, New Orleans, LA
Night+Day New Orleans added, "With a swaggering style and a mission to make people dance, Ruffins plays like the reincarnation of Louis Armstrong. A sweaty crowd of young and old, black and white, crams into Vaughan's, singing along and shaking to the beat until the band goes home. Get there early to sample Ruffins' barbecue, which he cooks on a grill that he keeps in the back of his truck."

I'm sorry I missed them -- I mean, just listen to a few samples of cuts off of Live At Vaughan's. But this is still a lovely bar. Thursday nights have been taken over by Corey Henry and the Great Treme Funktet. On the the 3rd Friday of each month, drag queens take over. And on any afternoon you can enjoy its grand, ramshackle charm.

Charles and Edith from England -- Edith to be married in
half an hour, Charles her father, at Vaughns in New Orleans

4229 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70117 - (504) 947-5562
Est. 1959
Articles ranked: facebook 
Reviews: thelens - nola.comgonola - gonola tv (video) - nolabeat - yelp - 10best - offbeat - artinfotraveladvisor - neworleansonline - bestofneworleans

#2477 - The Joint, New Orleans - 3/22/2014

The Joint, New Orleans, LA
This is not a great bar, but they serve terrific BBQ, widely considered the best in New Orleans, and is well worth making your way out to Bywater neighborhood.

The Joint, New Orleans, LA
The Joint, New Orleans, LA


701 Mazant St, New Orleans, LA 70117 - (504) 949-3232
Est. 2004
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked:  thedailymeal bbaee - curvymamapies - heavenisabuffet - jesspryles - 10best - yelp - tripadvisor - thrillist - - gonola - movoto - neworleansonline

#2476 - Gold Mine Saloon, New Orleans - 3/21/2014

This is not a type of bar that I particularly like (the crowd was loving dancing to "Footloose" when I arrived), but if you are looking for basically a crowded frat party, this would be a good option for you.  You will wait for what seems like an eternity for each drink and the focus is on shots and candy-flavor cocktails (it is known for, and apparently proud of, the invention of the Flaming Doctor Pepper).

Granted, before going I could have read the thrillist article that notes "The word “douchebag” gets thrown around a lot when people talk about this place ..."  Then again, they once had a poetry reading series on Thursday nights.

701 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 586-0745
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - - tripadvisor - cityseeker - bestofneworleans

#2475 - Flanagan's Pub, New Orleans - 3/21/2014

Flanagan's Pub, New Orleans, LA
Flanagans closed Nov 9, 2014.  It was a nice, neighborhood joint, with a lightly applied Irish theme, where tourists would gather for ghost tours and locals would play cards and board games.

Flanagan's Pub, New Orleans, LA

625 St Philip St, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 598-9002
Web site: - facebook - livejournal
Articles ranked: - yelp - tripadvisor - bestofneworleans

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

#2474 - Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge, New Orleans - 3/21/2014

Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge, New Orleans.LA
A few years ago, in a dive bar in Renton, Washington, I was discussing our mutual love of dives with a fellow there and he told me, "I like bars that have Christmas lights up all year round." That struck me as pithy and particularly evocative description of these places we both liked. I'm quite confident that this fellow never went to Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge, for otherwise he surely would included it at the top of the list of suggestions he gave me.

For people like me and my fellow barfly of that night, one look at a photo of Snake and Jake's guarantees that we will be there some day. How to describe it? Let's allow the owner have a go: "Decrepit chic is the best I could describe Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge. It's really a tin shack. I would call it the tin shack shit hole or late night bar." (Owner Dave Clements)  A lot of the descriptions include "shed, "shack" or "garage," but from the outside it looks less like any of those than like a loosely assembled fort thrown together by 12-year-olds in a junkyard. A bartender explains that the bar is held together with "nicotine and regret." (ibid)

Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge, New Orleans.LA
And despite that -- let's be honest, largely because of that -- the bar is said to have hosted Anthony Bourdain, George Clooney, Jude Law, Quentin Tarantino, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and erstwhile nextdoor neighbor Dr. John. Inside its dark confines they mix with students from nearby Tulane, slackers, rockers, artists and old fogeys -- although it can be hard to recognize any of them in the dim glow of the red Christmas lights that account for most the visible light.

The bar is well off the beaten track in a residential neighborhood in the Uptown area. It opens at 7pm, doesn't close until 7am, and doesn't really get going until 1am or 3am ("Snake-o-clock"), depending on who you talk to. If you are bar hopping it is sure to be your last stop of the night. The regulars are eclectic, funny, and sardonic. This character was even on display after Hurricane Katrina, when TV news showed the roof of the building with a message for the FEMA rescue helicopters, "NEED ICE." Their house drink is called a "Possum Drop," an homage to a night when a ceiling tile with a live possum crashed onto a patron's head.

Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge, New Orleans.LA
The bar and house behind it once belonged to Richard "Snake" Brown. It was called the “S&J Lounge" back then, and the current name is simply a combination of this and an even earlier one. Dave Clements has explained, "When my partner and I bought the property many, many years ago, it was an existing bar called S&J. It had a sign up. We also had the sign from the previous bar, which was The Christmas Lounge, named after a man called Sam Christmas. They had Christmas lights in there, but it was actually his last name. I didn’t find that out for years until he was riding down the street one day, and some guy went, ‘There goes Sam Christmas!’ And I go, ‘What?’ I really can’t remember who came up with the combination, but ‘Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge’ sort of rolled off the tongue. So that’s what we named the bar.”

The secret has long been out. Snake and Jake's is commonly included in lists of the country's best dive bars and best bars in New Orleans. Several call it the best dive bar in the world. And I can't think of any compelling argument to the contrary.

7612 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118 - (504) 861-2802
Est. 1994
Previous bars in this location: The Christmas Lounge, S&J Lounge
Web site:
Articles ranked: huffpo - bucketlist (video) - fridayatfivevice - mcclainjohnson - medianola - - - stereophile - eater - nolaspeax - twistedsouth - whereyat - - yelp - tripadvisor - daringpenguin - laskowitzpicturesnotesonneworleans - bestofneworleans - - pastemagazine

Monday, October 10, 2016

#2473 - Galatoire's, New Orleans - 3/21/2014

The whooping we heard coming from the elegant dining room, the bartender informed us, was Tennessee Williams' granddaughter. But of course it was -- here in the restaurant that has been here since 1905, here where her grandfather preferred the seat near the main front window and which he inserted into A Streetcar Named Desire.

The bar section was nearly empty this time of night, far from the thronged lunch and dinner hours, where before they started taking reservations recently the line would stretch down Bourbon Street to Iberville. After 5pm, jackets are still absolutely required for men, as they have been since 1905, when local saloon keeper Jean Galatoire purchased a restaurant called Victors in this space, which had already hosted such establishments for half a century. Jean served French Creole cuisine that included dishes from the small village in which he had grown up, in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. His family owned and operated the eponymous restaurant for five generations, before finally selling all but a few minor ownership shares in 2009.

We had a nice, sedate nightcap -- something like a sazerac, which virtually every New Orleans bar can make well -- and along with a bowl of French Onion soup. Then we made our way down Bourbon Street, the gay laughter of the playwright's granddaughter and her friends fading into unknown stories.

209 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130 - (504) 525-2021               
Est. 1905
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: esquire - - - thedailybeast - palmbeachillustrated - yelp - tripadvisor - neworleansonline - coolinaryneworleans

Saturday, October 08, 2016

#2472 - Cafe Amelie, New Orleans - 3/21/2014

Cafe Amelie is one of the best options in New Orleans for brunch and is especially loved for the portion in a 150-year-old courtyard. It is named for Amelie Miltonberger, who lived nearby and gave birth to Alice Heine, who eventually left the French Quarter to marry Prince Albert I and become the princess of Monaco. The bar is sufficient, and the food quite fine, but it is temperate, sunny days amidst the fountains and foliage that make it memorable.

912 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 412-8965
Est. 2005
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: neworleansrestaurants - notesonneworleans - lettucespoon - thefabliss - memeing - yelp - musingsofthebigredcar 

#2471 - Tonique, New Orleans - 3/20/2014

If you like craft cocktails and you're in New Orleans you go to Tonique. Tonique is often included in lists of top cocktail bars in the city or the entire country. On this visit I particularly enjoyed a Bitter Harvest Cocktail (Bernheim's Wheat Whiskey, St. Elizabeth Allspice dram, Averna Amaro, Bitter Truth orange bitters)

There are a few other attractions -- it also functions as an affordable, neighborhood beer bar with several cocktails at $5 before 5pm, and even an extensive menu of non-alcoholic classics. It can also come as a soothing, welcome respite from the more gregarious regions of the French Quarter. But these are the things you use to convince your odd teetotaler friend to come along -- YOU will come for the cocktails.

820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 324-6045
Est. 2008
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: - - offbeat - nytimes - - thefablissneworleansonline - - tripadvisor - yelp

#2470 - Bourbon Pub and Parade, New Orleans - 3/19/2014

When I come in the TVs are replaying Pink's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from the Oscars show and the entire bar area is entranced -- with most of the patrons are gesturing and mouthing the words.The Bourbon Pub, along with rival Oz across the street, are party central for clubbing gays in New Orleans. "Michael Paul Castrillo, who worked as a bartender at Oz in the early 2000s, recalls a rivalry between Oz and Bourbon Pub and Parade that was so heated that each of the bar's managers would send over customers or staffers to the other's place to spy on the crowd, get a head count and report back." (  They are both large clubs (this one slightly larger), with multiple bars on two floors, and both open 24 hours.

801 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116 - (504) 529-2107
Est. 1974
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: gaycities - huffpo - yelp - tripadvisor

#2469 - Cutter's, New Orleans - 3/19/2014

Neighborhood bar in the Marigny, known as gay but a mixed crowd, with tailgate buffets for Saints games and free red beans and rice on Mondays,

706 Franklin Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117 - (504) 948-4200
Reviews: - yelp - gaycities

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

#2468 - Big Daddy's, New Orleans - 3/19/2014

Big Daddy's, Marigny, New Orleans
Not to be confused with the identically named, only recently closed strip club with the iconic mannequin legs swinging over Bourbon Street, this Big Daddy's is a relatively placid, unassumingly gay, unapologetically divey bar in the Marigny. It is open 24 hours, many of them with a small, mostly older crowd mixed with young people who swing in when Mimi's across the street is clowded, closed, or just to full of hipsters. But as one article notes, "It's not unusual to find the place nearly empty at 8 p.m. and crowded at 8 a.m."

Both the staff and patrons are friendly, and we chatted with Edgar Riley Jr., who played with Frank Zappa and was most notably the vocalist and keyboardist for 80s metal band Axe. The band toured with acts like KISS, Ozzy, and Judas Priest before breaking up after a tragic auto accident in which one member was badly injured and another killed.

2513 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117 - (504) 948-6288
Reviews: - yelp - gaycities

Sunday, October 02, 2016

#2467 - Mimi's in the Marigny, New Orleans - 3/19/2014

Mimi's in the Marigny, New Orleans

Mimi's is a really nice couple of bars -- a more neighborhoody joint with a pool table and video games downstairs and a dining room upstairs -- with good cocktails and excellent tapas. But I will miss the old upstairs -- the one still there at the time of this visit, but subsequently relinquished after several years of legal battles with the neighbors. On this night we came upstairs and stepped into a cheery scene of swing dancing, to the beats of a band playing dixieland and roots music. But since 2012, the city has been clamping down on establishments, and in the summer of 2014 Mimi Dykes and her lawyers threw in the towel and converted the upstairs to a dining room, with music events limited to nine a year.

2601 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117 - (504) 872-9868
Web site: - facebook 
Articles ranked: - eater - curbed - roadtrippersyelp - travelandleisurebestofneworleans

#2466 - Saturn Bar, New Orleans - 3/19/2014

The Saturn Bar is one of the greatest dive bars in the country. It hits on virtually all key areas of a dive -- old, old characters, unique personality, strong cheap drinks, personalized decor assembled over many years -- and amps them up to a rare level. We chatted with bartender Bailee Broyard, whose great uncle O'Neil Broyard founded the place in this Bywater location in 1960, and whose father Eric now owns the joint. It was O'Neil who took the building hosting various blue collar bars over the years and transformed it into a cluttered bohemian gathering place and museum of folk art. O'Neil was the one who frame the taxidermied turtle in neon, installed the leopard print booths, collected the art, taxidermy and bric-a-bat -- and it was his friend Mike Frolich who painted the eponymous planet on the ceiling and historical scenes on the walls.

Saturn Bar, New Orleans
After 45 years of running the place, O'Neil died in December 2005, while the Saturn was still closed by Hurricane Katrina, and Eric and Bailee took over. Bailee books alt bands on weekends, and once a month they host one of New Orleans' most popular dance nights, DJ Matt Ulhman and Kristen Zoller's "Mod Night," featuring "exclusively of British Invasion, Motown, and Funk hits from the 1960s and 70s all spun from their original 33 or 45 RPM vinyl." Mod Night happens one Saturday night a month, but you'll have to watch their Facebook page to know exactly which weekend, as this decision is often made a the last minute. (See offbeat) Bailee and Eric cleared enough clutter from the back section to hold dancers and live bands, and you can watch the action from a narrow upper floor that surrounds that section, accessed by a rickety stairway.

Bailee, Saturn Bar, New Orleans
I could carry on about the decor and personality, but as with any truly unique dive, you can gather a lot more from a few more photos than I could communicate in words.

   Saturn Bar, New Orleans

Saturn Bar, New Orleans (front door)

3067 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117 - (504) 949-7532
Est. 1960
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: - insidenola - offbeat - arthurmag - nolavie - gonola - - bestofneworleans - yelp - tripadvisor - lonelyplanet - roadtrippers