New Orleans Music Bars

Social Drinking Clubs



Music oozes out of every bar in town — whether it's canned, from a jukebox or live on a small stage. Just as a bar can supply good music, New Orleans music halls can offer a good bar, or in some cases, two or three.

One Eyed Jacks (615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

Two bars (and a velour-meets-Matador VIP lounge upstairs) attract whiskey and High Life crowds, but the horseshoe-shaped bar in the main room offers a prime view of the stage without sacrificing proximity to booze.

d.b.a. (618 Frenchmen St., 942-3731;

A small red-curtained stage features a nightly lineup of local acts, and the bar is stocked with a large international selection, including beers from Finland to France and everywhere in-between and beyond.

Howlin' Wolf (907 S. Peters St., 529-5844;

Al Capone's hotel The Lexington supplied the hand-carved, super-long mahogany bar at this Warehouse District club. Lay off the $6 beers and go straight for the liquor.

Tipitina's (501 Napoleon Ave., 895-8477;

Three bars — one on either side of the stage and upstairs — line this Uptown institution. Look for drink specials such as $2 Abita draft, on Homegrown Night.

Circle Bar (1032 St. Charles Ave., 588-2616)

The exterior of this Lee Circle hub screams "haunted house," but inside, it's a tiny dive with canned PBR and strong drinks in plastic cups. It also has one of the city's best lineups for local and touring indie rock, performed nightly.

Blue Nile (532 Frenchmen St., 948-2583)

When the house lights go down, watch the bar bathe in a swirling, dim white light — or go upstairs to revel in Frenchmen Street decadence on the balcony. There is often no cover charge, so put your money to use on a good beer selection or top-shelf booze.

Hi-Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude Ave., 945-4446)

Look to this St. Claude Avenue club for cheap drinks and a kitchen that slings pizza and other plates while the stage hosts metal, free jazz or punk rock. On Mondays, there's an open bluegrass jam with $1 red beans and rice.

Add a comment