by Sarah Baird
Earlier this year, I declared it my own personal “Year of Champagne” in which I would spend the next 365 days enjoying, exploring, and tasting various kinds of bubbles. (The spirits of previous years include brandy, mezcal, and an ill-fated attempt to love sherry.) It seemed highly convenient, then, that Apres Lounge—the first “champagne bar” in New Orleans—opened in late March, just in time to fulfill my desire for all things fancy sparkling wine.
Located in Fulton Alley, an area known for attracting an odd blend of tourists and dudes in tank tops, the bar claims to provide patrons with the “sexiness, elegance and excitement that [they] deserve” as people going out on the town. While I’m not sure about all those labels, the space is dimly lit (even during happy hour) and full of women tottering around in heels and mini-dresses and projects a vibe that seems eerily similar to Parks and Recreation’s Snakehole Lounge.
The choice of murals — including one of the Rat Pack minus Peter Lawford and another of some sort of ethereal celestial goddess — make strange bedfellows, but patrons don’t seem to mind. Despite the odd decor, the champagne selection is vast and well-thought out, with helpful hints for selecting the right bubbly for your needs and price point. A Dom Perignon happy hour each Friday offers up glasses for $25, giving everyone the chance to feel like a VIP.
Apres Lounge is open from 4 p.m. — 5 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday.