"We're up at 3:30 a.m.," says Koehlar, who owns Erin Rose bar (811 Conti St., 523-8619; www.erinrosebar.com) with her husband Troy. She looks forward to starting her day there. 'One of my favorite things to do is to sit and have my coffee and watch people have their cocktails and blow off some steam," she says.
Erin Rose is open 21 hours a day, from 10 a.m. until 7 a.m.
"Sometimes we close at six, but we like to stay open those last few hours to cater to service-industry workers," Koehlar says. 'We are honored to be able to provide people with a safe haven to come drink and relax when they're done with work."
Koehlar was born and raised in the French Quarter. In the '90s, she tended bar at Erin Rose for its original owner, the late Jim Monaghan, who was something of an Irish pub magnate in the Quarter.
"He owned about 30 bars over a 30-year course of time." Koehlar says. "Troy was Jim's right-hand man; that's how I met him."
Since the husband-and-wife team took over the bar in December 2001, Erin Rose's group of regular customers has grown, as has the number of out-of-town visitors.
"Erin Rose celebrates great people, memorable moments, cocktails and diversity," Koehlar says. 'We get people from all over the country, and we have our everyday locals " lawyers, doctors, veterinarians, artists, service-industry workers " who come hang out with us. It's just a great place to have a conversation."
But make no mistake, a good drink is also a major factor in this equation. Erin Rose is known for its Bloody Marys, Guinness on tap, frozen and hot Irish coffees " and for the Irish Car Bomb, a mix of Guinness, Irish whiskey and Bailey's Irish Cream. There also is a menu of bar snacks, just a few hot dishes (think fried cheese sticks and corn dogs) that really hit the spot for late-night drinkers.
The Koehlars host theme parties on a regular basis, from country and western night to Halloweenesque Friday the 13th parties. And during football season, Erin Rose customers enjoy fried turkey and drink specials while watching Saints games.