Food & Drink » Bar Guide

Gambit’s 100-plus bars: Bars with music

Raise a glass to the band at these music spots


@Bamboulasnola 514 Frenchmen St., (504) 944-8461;
The vibe: A mix of live jazz, blues and other local sounds draws passersby into this restaurant, bar and music hall in the middle of the Frenchmen Street hub. What you'll drink: Abita beers on draft, classic cocktails.

Blue Nile
@BlueNileLive 532 Frenchmen St., (504) 948-2583;
The vibe: Upstairs find experimental music from the Open Ears series, reggae, DJ-led partner-grinding dance parties, with a balcony overlooking Frenchmen Street's lively music corridor and people-watching nightlife. Downstairs, new school brass and funk bands dominate the main room, anchored by a whimsical bar and moon mural ceilings. What you'll drink: Cocktails in blue plastic cups and bottles of water.

Circle Bar
@circlebarnola 1032 St. Charles Ave., (504) 588-2616;
The vibe: No stage? No problem. Bands gather 'round a fireplace by candlelight at the Lee Circle hideaway, and crowds vie for a window seat in cozy booths. With a stacked jukebox, exposed brick and nightly rock 'n' roll, it's the bar of your retired punk uncle's dreams. What you'll drink: Beer and a shot.

@dbaneworleans 618 Frenchmen St., (504) 942-3731;
The vibe: Through a narrow passageway, find a not-so-small stage draped in red curtains hosting an all-star lineup of the city's more offbeat blues, R&B, trad jazz and roots rock outfits. The headliners are the beers on the chalkboards behind the bar. What you'll drink: Any (or many) of the rotating draft and imported beers.

Gasa Gasa
@GasaGasaNOLA 4920 Freret St., (504) 304-7110;
The vibe: Uptown's buzz band venue features weird art and a long bar with a colorful stage hosting up-and-coming locals and touring electronic, punk, hip-hop and indie rock bands. Food trucks park in front of the adjoining courtyard, where there are plenty of seats and a small bar (don't dunk on the patio bartender even though there's a hoop above the bar and a Harry of Harry and the Hendersons mural seemingly smiling at you to do so). What you'll drink: Red Stripe, Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys, house cocktails.

House of Blues
@HOBNOLA 225 Decatur St., (504) 310-4999;
The vibe: The polished, juke joint-inspired rooms at the French Quarter's mega venue host modern rock radio stalwarts and rising pop and country acts. Wednesdays belong to Curren$y's Jet Life crew and Leon Blanda's stand-up comedy showcases. Tip your bathroom attendant. What you'll drink: Beer in aluminum bot- tles, Stella Artois tallboys and mixed drinks.

Kerry Irish Pub
331 Decatur St., (504) 527-5924
The vibe: Bric-a-brac hung on the walls and ceiling give the Kerry the look of a French Quarter dive, but the bar has a strong Irish accent, and it's home to local folk musicians and singer-songwriters. What you'll drink: Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's ale, Irish whiskies.

Maple Leaf Bar
@MapleLeafNOLA 8316 Oak St., (504) 866-9359;
The vibe: The legendary Uptown venue has been home to James Booker, Jon Cleary, Walter "Wolfman" Washington and the Rebirth Brass Band. Its calendar continues to honor New Orleans music traditions with a nightly lineup of torch-wielding local artists. It's also a neighborhood dive, home to crawfish boils and poetry readings. What you'll drink: Simple mixed drinks, local draft beers and water.

One Eyed Jacks
@oejnola 615 Toulouse St., (504) 569-8361;
The vibe: More Black Lodge than brothel, the French Quarter's designated rock 'n' roll venue has two bars — a plush lounge in the front and a horseshoe oasis serving the middle of the black-and-white checkerboard-floored venue bordered with dramatic red stage curtains to complete the Twin Peaks-y appeal. What you'll drink: Heineken? F— that shit. Pabst Blue Ribbon. Also, help yourself to water in the Gatorade cooler.

Saturn Bar
3067 St. Claude Ave., (504) 949-7532
The vibe: Downtown punk and garage bands make their second or third home under the city's dustiest ceiling fans in the kitschy, beloved Bywater dive. Sink into a worn leather couch, hide upstairs behind the balcony, or pull up to the bar in a twirly stool and count the ever-growing knickknacks. What you'll drink: Cheap domestic beers and whiskey.

@siberiaNOLA 2227 St. Claude Ave., (504) 265-8855;
The vibe: A late-night pierogi-scented black metal hunting lodge home to gauntlet-wearing corpse-painted warlocks, punks, scuzzy garage rock bands and budding bounce stars. Free or cheap weekly and monthly events span comedy, burlesque, singer-songwriter nights, trivia and DJs, from classic country to international psychedelics. What you'll drink: Draft and bottled craft, imported and domestic beers.

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