Sep 28, 2018

A commoner drinks at the Avenue Pub, New Orleans

If you spend any time in New Orleans, it doesn’t take long to realize there’s no shortage of great drinking establishments throughout the city, from the bars that accompany fine dining restaurants and high-end hotels to neighborhood dive bars open 24 hours, seven days a week.  In fact, when it comes to bars open 24/7/365, the Big Easy may have mastered the concept. 

And of all the bars that never close in NOLA, one of my favorites stands out for its choice location and variety of libations – the Avenue Pub. 

Located at the corner of St. Charles and Polymnia in the Lower Garden District, the Avenue Pub is a relatively short streetcar ride from the French Quarter and the Central Business District.  According to the establishment’s website, the building dates back to as early as 1845, and between the blue shutters and wrought iron balcony it’s rather hard to miss.    

Punky and I made our initial pilgrimage to the Avenue Pub after hearing about a special craft beer tasting and featuring beers from Burial Brewing Company in Asheville, N.C., collaborating with other local and regional brewers.  So, we were already aware of the pub’s stellar reputation with craft beer aficionados.  And, as the sign says, the fact that they only close for trips to Belgium reinforces their dedication to the product.

It only takes one look behind the main bar to realize how serious they really are about the craft of craft beer.  The place boasts 40 beers on tap – three fourths of them rotate on a regular basis, ensuring something new every time even regulars stop by – and roughly 60 more varieties in bottles.  With that kind of selection, it shouldn’t be hard to follow their motto, “Drink what you love.”  But you may not know where to start.  Fortunately, we found the bartenders quite personable and accommodating with helping make our drinking decisions.

If you come before 5 p.m., it’s likely that only the downstairs will be open; however, there’s an entire room beyond the bar with plenty of seating. 

That said, the upstairs is worth checking out, even if you just decide to wander around.  The murals that adorn the stairway are eye-catching, to say the least.

The same goes for the wall art in the upstairs hallway, which takes you to the second-floor bar.

There are fewer beers on tap up here, but they make up for it by showcasing a stellar whiskey selection, which happens to be the upstairs bar’s specialty.  Punky and I tend to love all things whiskey, so this was a nice bonus to go along with the special beer tasting taking place on the second level. 

You may have also noticed a distinct lack of seating at the upstairs bar, but who needs it when you can walk right out onto one of the largest balconies on St. Charles Avenue?  It’s this view that makes the Avenue Pub a prime Mardi Gras parade location during Carnival season.   

And most other times, as was the case when we visited, it’s the perfect spot for kicking your feet back, soak in the atmosphere and savor your beverage.  

One more noteworthy item about the Avenue Pub:  They do serve food, and by most accounts, their “pub fare” food is well above your standard bar menu in both selection and quality.  And while their small plates focus on vegetarian dishes, their pub burger is reportedly one of the best in town.    

Between the vast selection of beers and whiskey, probably the best balcony on the streetcar line and a fun neighborhood bar atmosphere that literally never stops, the Avenue Pub is one 24/7 bar that’s worth visiting any time of day or night.  When you’re in New Orleans, put a stop at the Avenue Pub on your to-do list. 

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