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Public Belt cocktail and piano lounge opens in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside

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  Public Belt, a new cocktail and piano lounge in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside (2 Poydras St., 504-561-0500; www.hiltonneworleansriverside.com) is now open, serving craft cocktails and presenting live jazz. Its name pays tribute to the iconic New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. The 61-seat bar features a dark, sleek interior and a baby grand piano where Joe Krown will perform weekly evening sets Thursdays through Saturdays.

  Besides a handful of classic New Orleans cocktails — Sazerac, Vieux Carre, hurricane — the menu features a selection of drinks inspired by Storyville prostitutes and madams of the early 1900s.

  Ella's Sinful Secret features Boodles gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, dry vermouth and celery bitters. A drink called the Scarlet Harlot combines Patron Silver tequila, apricot liqueur, dry vermouth and lemon juice.

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