The television screens at Rendon Inn's Dugout Sports Bar and Grill (4301 Eve St., 504-826-5605) don't reveal the building's history, but old New Orleans character lurks under the glow of a pro-football game. The neighborhood watering hole has served locals since 1933, including a steady stream of Tulane students and lawyers. Two of its regulars, both in their 80s, have patronized Rendon Inn for 50 years.
"One of them has been coming here since he was 15 or 16 years old," says Sean Bode, who runs the bar with partner Sue S. Wilson. "It's good to see that."
Bode and his father, owner Chris Bode, revamped and reopened Rendon Inn in 2007 following Hurricane Katrina, turning it into a sports bar. TVs now surround the narrow bar and shuffleboard tables are ready for play. The menu reflects their ties to southern Louisiana, with dishes like roast beef po-boys, boiled seafood on Fridays and free food during New Orleans Saints games. There also are bar food staples like quesadillas and burgers. The Bodes make all the food in-house using as many ingredients from nearby farmers markets as they can.
"I was born and raised in New Orleans," Bode says. "So I try to keep things as local as possible." That includes local beer, which takes up the front row in the Rendon Inn's cooler, along with more than 60 other brands and 10 on-tap specials.
There's a special event at Rendon Inn almost every night. The bar hosts steak night on Wednesdays, shuffleboard tournaments, pool leagues and more. Every Tuesday is film industry night, when stunt performers, production assistants and others in the film industry receive dinner specials. Rendon Inn's kitchen serves lunch and dinner daily, with late-night dining until 2 a.m.
The bar also is an event space, hosting private events, debutante parties and sorority and fraternity events. Chris Bode recently added a covered patio to the rear of the building, so customers can soak up the sun while they peel shrimp and cheer on the Saints.
"There's always something going on," Bode says.