Sep 22, 2014

A commoner reviews Molly’s at the Market, New Orleans

If you were to ask me for the single most important reason to stop by Molly’s at the Market, yet another one of my favorite New Orleans bars on Decatur Street in the French Quarter, I’d have to say it’s the frozen Irish coffee. 

Isn't that a thing of beauty?  And if you look at the many travel sites famous for their user-generated reviews, you’ll see I’m not alone in praising the signature drink at Molly’s (although they make a fine “regular” Irish coffee as well for those rare cold and damp New Orleans nights).

There are, of course, many more reasons why Molly’s should be on any traveler’s short list of local dive bars to visit.  For instance …

… as its signature drink would indicate, it embraces its roots as a good Irish pub, but it also embraces its NOLA heritage just as strongly. 

It’s a true neighborhood bar with a charm all its own, and a favorite hangout for the city’s journalists and service industry crowd practically since it opened its shutters 40 years ago.  The wannabe journalist in me can’t resist being drawn to that.  There’s also a killer jukebox with a selection that rivals the Chart Room

Want more proof of Molly’s Irish spirit and New Orleans-style love for a good party?  Check out their blog.  You get the idea St. Patrick’s Day at Molly’s is one hell of a good time.  And Halloween (I can vouch for this).  And Mardi Gras.  And … well, you get the idea they don’t miss a special occasion and don’t mind making one up if needed.      

Molly’s has plenty of room for good conversation even when the late night crowds roll in, although I enjoy day drinking here just as much.  You get to know people better when you don’t have to shout.  It’s no wonder Molly’s is categorized as a community center first and pub second on its Facebook page.   

When you drink at Molly’s, you also avoid the Bourbon Street tourist trap prices when you go to Molly’s.  Miller High Life and a Jameson for $5?  You can’t afford not to drink.    

One thing Molly’s does lack is a nice courtyard in the back, which becomes apparent the first time you have to seek out the bathroom (and that’s a tight fit, by the way).  But you have to admit, the mural in the courtyard is quite the conversation piece.    

Finally, Molly’s always seems to have personable and knowledgeable bartenders.  On one visit, I arrived early enough to watch the bartender make a batch of frozen Irish coffee (a.k.a. pour the ingredients into the ice cream machine).  Granted, it probably wasn’t privileged information, but it was a good bar conversation, and they sure don’t skimp on the Irish whiskey.  

If you spend any time in Molly’s, you’ll see how the bartenders know and relate to their regulars.  They also tend to tolerate tourists quite well …

We just couldn't resist the standard tourist trap T-shirt shop pose.
… even drunken ones who stumble in off the street like these guys. 

Molly’s is at 1107 Decatur Street, right next door to Coop’s Place, which I have covered in this blog before.  So, you can get a lot of great bar hopping done in just a short walk near the French Market.  Molly’s has also recently (at least recently to me) opened its kitchen, so now I have one more reason to visit on my next trip to New Orleans.

But for whatever reason you come to Molly's, stay for at least one Irish coffee.  

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