As Who Dats tackle an unprecedented football season, the game day experience looks completely different.
Knowing many fans are looking for a home away from the Superdome, many restaurants have created a new playbook for unconventional game days.
There’s also a growing trend of local bars reopening under state-issued restaurant conditional permits, which essentially allows them to operate as restaurants while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.
Source: Sidecar NOLA via Facebook
For many of these establishments, game day table reservations are becoming the norm in order to accommodate droves of fans under current occupancy guidelines.
And there’s already a high demand for places to soak up any semblance of an exciting game-watching atmosphere.
One of Mid-City’s newest patio restaurants, Trep’s, saw sold-out reservations for the Saints season opener, and some fans had to stomach a four-hour wait at the nearby Bayou Beer Garden.
Scouting places to watch the Saints game can become a headache if you don’t plan ahead. So, we mapped out what to expect at some of the area’s prime game-watching locations.
Below is a list of popular game-watching spots ready to welcome fans this football season. Some locations may change details as they adjust to service during the pandemic, so make sure to contact the location for any updates.
One of Mid-City’s newest restaurants, Trep’s, becomes the latest addition to New Orleans’ growing outdoor dining scene.
Just in time for Saints season, the modern, outdoor space is crawling with a plethora of big-screen TVs. Trep’s is partnering with Open Table to accept reservations for dining service, including on game days. A spokesperson said the restaurant will also have tables available for walk-in guests, too. However, Trep’s saw a sold-out crowd for the Saints season opener, so reservations are strongly recommended.
Trep’s will open Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Bayou Beer Garden & Bayou Wine Garden
Bayou Beer Garden & Bayou Wine Garden have gained a reputation for prime game-watching locations. The two popular neighboring bars in Mid-City recently reopened in time for the unprecedented football season.
The bars will now use one central location for entry. A tent in the rear parking lot on North Rendon Street will serve as the check-in spot. Masks will be required for entry.
Guests will get served food and drinks via table service, with all seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests will also now be able to order from either location’s menu right from their table.
Bayou Beer Garden and Bayou Wine Garden are currently open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
MY GOODNESS WE HAVE MISSED YOU SO! Your favorite Mid-City beer garden is opening this Thursday at 4pm! Obviously some…
Finn McCool’s Irish Pub
Finn McCool’s Irish Pub on Banks Street reopened for the second time during the pandemic just in time for Saints fans to yell, “Who Dat,” at TV screens.
Similar to Bayou Beer Garden, Finn McCool’s will also operate as a restaurant, with table service only. The popular Irish pub also beefs up its bar menu with some new $5 bar bites from the kitchen — including mini spicy meat pies and boudin balls.
Guests will get seated on a first-come, first-served basis, which means get there early. The spot will have limited seating with no standing allowed.
Finn McCool’s opens daily, with opening times based on the sports calendar.
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We’d like to welcome y’all back this weekend with some new $5 bites from the kitchen! Since we are now operating as a restaurant, it is essential that everyone orders something from the kitchen and then from the bar! Coverage for the Kentucky Derby begins at 2:30p and we’ve got UEFA Nations League games on at 1:45p with NBA & NHL playoffs tonight! Don’t forget to #MaskUp We can’t wait to see yous again, Slainté!
If you’ve ever been to Wrong Iron on any game day, then you know how fiercely fans show out at this popular Mid-City spot. While first-come, first-served tables are available, it’s a gamble on a big football day.
Wrong Iron will offer table reservations again this year for Saints and LSU games. Booking fees ranging from $40 to $200 depending on the table’s location and size of group, and the fee only reserves the table.
Before booking, make sure you are aware of the rules, including a reservation expiration 30 minutes after the game starts. Table bookings close 24 hours before game time.
Hours are Monday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from noon to 2 a.m. and Sunday from noon to midnight.
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar is usually the Warehouse District’s standing-room-only spot during Saints games. However, the tropical-themed bar now requires reservations for fans to come in and watch the game in a socially-distanced environment.
Lucy’s offers a limited number of tables seating two, four and six people, utilizing its downstairs space and the Attic. For those upstairs tables, guests must be age 21 or older with proper identification.
A $25 per person deposit is required with each reservation. However, each table does receive a free round of drinks, along with chips and dip to get your game-watching party started.
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Shoutout to everyone who came out to our Saints Watch Party🏈⚜️ We had so much fun we’re doing it again for the Saints vs. Raiders game on 9/21! Link in bio to grab your table! • • • #nolaopen #lucysnola #followyournola #nolaeats #socialdistancing #nola #eatingnola #saintsgameday #saints #whodat #mnf
Cooter Brown’s Tavern & Oyster Bar
For the first time, Cooter Brown’s switches to a reservation system for big sporting events.
Reservations fees at the Riverbend bar fluctuate depending on the game and group size, with a maximum party size of 10 people. Luckily, your reservation fee will roll into a gift card the group can use for purchases the same day.
Fees range from $25 to $250, and tables will only be held until 30 minutes after the start of a game.
Cooter Brown’s opens daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.
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Just like everything else this year, football season is going to be a little different. For the first time, we are going to be switching to reservations for big sporting events. We've got a very limited number of tables and seats available and we hope that making reservations will make the Cooter Brown's experience as simple and safe as possible for everyone. Simply head to cooterbrowns.com/reservations to check out our reservation system. We hope to see y'all for a game this season whether you Who Dat, Geaux Tigers, or something else entirely!
Fat Harry’s, the tavern on St. Charles Avenue, launched a new table policy requiring reservations for NFL Sundays and Saints games.
Due to limited seating, there’s a $35 minimum per seat, which will be waived for tabs exceeding that amount. The bar will offer table service during the game.
Reservations are only good for the length of the game.
Guests can make reservations by calling the tavern at 504-895-9582.
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Hello Fat’s Family, While we are currently in Phase 2 at limited to 50% capacity, reservations will be required for NFL Sundays and Saints games. As soon as we have the ability to fully open, we will operate as we have in the past with first come/first served. Your reservation is only good for the game you are watching, and as soon as your game is over we kindly ask that you leave so we can turn the table for the next game, if there is one. Due to the limited seating, we will impose a $35 minimum per seat. If your tab exceeds $35 per seat, there is no charge. We will require a credit card at the time of reservation, and there will be a 24-hour cancelation policy for a reservation. If you no show for your reservation, you will be charged $35 per seat. There will be no service at the bar, but we will have full table service at all times. Reservations can be made by calling 504-895-9582. There is no playbook for these challenging times, but we are trying to do our best for you the customer while still remaining a viable business. Thank You, Fat Harry’s
The Tchoup Yard
The Tchoup Yard, the outdoor beer garden in the Irish Channel, will also operate differently on Saints games days.
The spot takes a hybrid approach during game days by selling tickets for VIP tables in prime-viewing locations and keeping other tables for first-come, first-served seating.
Hours are Wednesday and Thrusday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m. to noon, Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Tchoup Yard is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Happy game day from Tchoup Yard! Y’all come by. Food provided by @karibu_kitchen and the return of @atruckwithnoname 🍻 #whodat #gameday
Sidecar NOLA Patio & Oyster Bar
Owners of the Rusty Nail recently opened the adjacent Sidecar NOLA Patio & Oyster Bar this summer in the Warehouse District.
Touted as an “urban hideaway,” the outdoor patio space offers reservations for all Saints, LSU and Alabama games.
Game-day reservations will require a minimum of $50 per person at each table, rolled over to a gift card the table can use for purchases. Guests will also get changed a 20 percent gratuity at the time of reservation and for any additional purchases on their final bill.
Keep in mind there is also a maximum party size of 10 people.
Sidecar is open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
We are now taking Game Day reservations! Reserve your spot for Monday Night Football now! https://www.sidecarnola.com/game-day-reservations
Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux
Walk-On’s in Jefferson Parish will test out a first-come, first-served approach for fans trying to watch the game.
“There will be no one entering the building until we’re ready to see you just to make sure there’s no one floating around or breaking the social distancing rules, so will be doing our greeting and hosting outside people won’t walk in until it’s time to sit down,” General Manager Marshall Hahn told FOX 8 reporter Amanda Roberts.
Hahn’s advice to fans: come early, be patient, and tip big regardless of a win or lose.
Hours for the Walk-On’s Metairie location are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Walk-On’s also has two North Shore locations, in Covington and Slidell, for football fans looking for a exciting game-day experience.
The Walk-On’s New Orleans location is currently closed for renovations.
Barcadia New Orleans
Cheering on the Saints looks different this year at Barcadia New Orleans.
Fans who arrive early enough might get lucky enough to score one of the free outdoor picnic tables set up in front of the big screen. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a $25 per person entry free to enjoy the game at one of the tables.
Barcadia has not implemented a reservation system. Guests are seated on a first-come, first served basis.
Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight.
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Game Days at @barcadianola are back! Come cheer on the Saints before, during, and after home games at both Barcadia & @ohmlounge_nola! Masks and social distancing required! . . 🏈 Ohm Lounge open with indoor/outdoor seating 🏈 $25 per person for premium indoor seating + food/drink 🏈 No reservations, first-come, first-serve 🏈 Outdoor seating is FREE, but limited
To get Who Dats in the spirit, the spot also created a new Saints-inspired cocktail, appropriately called Catchin’ Brees.
The casual spot boasts a stylish, but relaxed, family-fun atmosphere with waterfront views.
Do you know about other great locations to watch the game in a socially-distanced environment? Let us know here.
RELATED: 2020 New Orleans Saints Schedule
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