|Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge, New Orleans.LA|
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)
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.
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.
Previous bars in this location: The Christmas Lounge, S&J Lounge
Web site: snakeandjakes.com
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