Charlie Brown

Author, editor, filmmaker, podcaster

Late Late Night In New Orleans


 As most tourists know, New Orleans' bars never close.  Or, at least, they don't have to, as there is no curfew.  But some bars cater more to the early morning set, specifically those who want to keep drinking once the music clubs wrap up, usually between 2 and 3 a.m.


Uptown has a few places where closing time coincides with the rising sun.  The collegiate crowd, especially those who sport Greek letters on the chests, like Fat Harry's (4330 St. Charles Ave., (504)895-9582).  A traditional “last call” since the '60s, Harry's is a no frills beer and booze place that boasts a late night kitchen where cheese fries (a local bar staple) can be consumed before driving home.


The area's jam band fans who call Uptown home like to drop by Snake and Jake's Xmas Club Lounge (7612 Oak St., (504)861-2802).  This mellow dive is a good place to find a hookup, either Mr./Mrs Right Now or the bump you need to get to dawn.  You might also run into a local funk musician or two.


Of course, the best place to find a hidden after-hours spot is the French Quarter.  There are bars on every corner, but the night owls find two places irresistible.  The punk rockers flock to The Abbey (1123 Decatur St., (504)523-7150) for the deep jukebox and the occasional free hot dogs.  The heavy metal fans will make their way to The Dungeon (738 Toulouse, (504)525-3521), a bar that doesn't even open until midnight.  You can sit in a cage and do Jaeger shots here, while the box drops Black Sabbath and other classic metal sounds.  Both of these Quarter places also feature off-duty strippers drinking away their night's wages.


But the king of all final resting places is the R Bar (1431 Royal St., (504) 948-7499).  This Marigny staple brings together the jazz crowd from Frenchman St., the 9th Ward hipsters and many lost souls who have found their way downtown.  The place has crazy decorations (an upside down bandstand on the ceiling, a shark head, large cards forming a royal flush) and a good selection of beers and liquors for any taste.  But what the place is best known for is those crazy drunken conversations that inspire all the artists who wander in.