New Orleans journalists have long relied on bars. Sometimes these floors serve as the backdrop for a meeting that promises a hot scoop; sometimes they are a place to unwind with colleagues and friends after a long day of chasing sources while being hounded by editors.
Local bars are where we celebrate and celebrate, and where we meet new people and get ideas. They’re places that literally power us up after hurricanes when the rest of the city’s power is out, and where we’ve hit the “publish” button on many a story at odd hours — or streamed to right after doing so.
Here, some local media types share their favorite spots.
Staff photographer at The Times-Picayune
Favorite bar and why: The bar at Clancy’s Restaurant
First of all, I can walk or bike to it, which is a big plus. And while I don’t go to bars to watch TV, they have one above the wall of bottles, usually at low volume, so you can keep talking to friends while keeping up with whatever big game is out of the corner of your eye. The other night, when LSU defeated Alabama in overtime, nearly the entire kitchen staff, including waiters in suits and ties, packed the small bar to watch the final seconds of the epic game. It was like being in a small living room with about 50 of your friends. Then I went home.
Beverage of choice: Old-fashioned
Morning host on WWL-TV
Favorite local bar and why: American townhouse
Not only is it located close to where I work on N. Rampart Street, the music is always spot on and the food and drinks are outstanding.
Beverage of choice: Frozen Pimm’s Cup
Digital content editor at The Times-Picayune
Favorite bar and why: My favorite place for a cocktail has been Mister Mao. My favorite place to relax and have a drink though is Carrollton Station.
Mister Mao makes beautiful drinks that make me happy. Carrollton Station always has Lagunitas.
Optional drink: A lemon drop martini, or a beer from California — and water.
AJ “Boudin Man” Rodrigue
Host of WWOZ
Favorite bar and why: dba and BJ’S Lounge.
Both places treat the local musicians right. And I can’t forget Tipitina’s or Poor Boy’s.
Beverage of choice: A cold, cold fat
Melanie Warner Spencer
Editor at New Orleans Homes and New Orleans Bride; Managing Editor at Louisiana Life and Acadiana Profile
Favorite local bar and why: Rabbit’s foot
It’s technically a modern bodega and coffee bar, but it now has a foolproof afternoon happy hour. I love the atmosphere, the friendly staff and the food, plus – since I retired from the art of drinking a couple of years ago – my non-alcoholic self can enjoy either a coffee drink or a cocktail that can’t stand alone or with friends who drink without feeling me left out of the festivities.
Beverage of choice: I’m torn because their take on a Moscow mule made with the zero-proof spirit Seedlip is great, but Murphy’s Michelada, made with Athletic Brewing non-alcoholic beer and a house-made, tomato-free mix and a Tajín-rimmed glass. , is straight fire.
Investigative reporter at The Times-Picayune
Favorite bar and why: Markey’s
There is no better place to watch a match, play darts and surround yourself with the locals. It also has the friendliest bartenders in town.
Beverage of choice: A PBR Draft
David Thaddeus Baker
Editor, Louisiana Weekly
Favorite bar and why: Barrel certificate
It has such a sense of community. It’s always a stop on my birthday tour. The team there is amazing and the bartenders make great cocktails. It’s one of my favorite places to catch up with friends, especially during Miracle, their upcoming holiday-themed bar activation. I think everyone should stop by at least once.
Beverage of choice: Old-fashioned
Digital Editor at WWNO and WRKF
Favorite bar and why: The Delachaise
I mostly work from home and am glued to my laptop — that’s why I prefer this neighborhood bar, just a few blocks from my apartment. It also serves wine – my favorite drink – and lots of it.
Beverage of choice: Pour a glass of bright and fizzy Txakolina from Spain (or any other refreshing white wine)
Digital Editor at Gulf States Newsroom
Favorite bar and why: The sea cave arcade
It has tons of retro arcade games, really good food and drink, and wrestling shows on Wednesdays – it’s basically the best place on earth. Ask for Oliver if you’re there!
Beverage of choice: Everything on the specialty drink menu is amazing, but my favorite is their Old Fashioned.
Michael Isaac Stein
Investigative reporter at The Lens
Favorite bar and why: Bar Redux. Never once have I had a bad time at Bar Redux.
Beverage of choice: Beer
Recipes to impress friends and coffee table books to show off.