As crews work to restore power after Hurricane Ida’s landfall, New Orleans bars slowly start to come alive just in time for a big football weekend.
Who Dats, once again, find themselves tackling a strange season. While fans work to rebuild their homes after the storm, the Saints are on the road instead of playing at home for the season opener.
But we’ve seen it before. The Who Dat spirit can rise from the rubble left behind by any hurricane, even a Category 4.
With the Saints out of town, and some folks still without power, some fans might scout for a home away from the Superdome.
Luckily, some New Orleans bars we spoke with report minimal or no damage from Hurricane Ida. Bar and restaurant owners say they’re open and ready to welcome back customers.
Along with being prime spots for an unconventional game day, many neighborhood watering holes are sure to become the stomping grounds for families and friends looking to reunite after the storm.
This weekend, bring along your patience as you dust off your Saints and LSU gear and head to your nearest game-watching spot. Several bar owners say they’re operating with limited menus and short staffing.
Below is a list of popular game-watching spots ready to welcome fans post-Hurricane Ida. Some locations may change details as they adjust service, so make sure to contact the location for any updates.
Cooter Brown’s Tavern & Oyster Bar
As soon as Cooter Brown’s Tavern & Oyster Bar got power back, the Riverbend bar rushed to reopen on Sunday offering customers a cool spot to soak up air conditioning, charge phones and use wi-fi while sipping on a cold brew.
Owner Jeff O’Bryon says overall the bar fared well after Hurricane Ida’s landfall.
“We took some damage from the storm, but the only area really damaged was the outside patio,” O’Bryon said. “That’ll be closed for a while until we can get it back up and running.”
Just in time for this weekend, Cooter Brown’s resumes regular hours from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday. O’Bryon said the bar is still offering a limited food menu, but he’s adding items every day.
For all the games this weekend, fans can flock to Cooter Brown’s for a seat on a first-come, first-served basis.
Mid-City’s modern outdoor space Trep’s was “very fortunate” in not sustaining any damage during Hurricane Ida, although they did lose product due to the power outage, chef Jerry Mixon said.
With several staff members still unable to return since evacuating, Mixon says staffing at the restaurant has been a big challenge. Another challenge has been getting product from suppliers.
“The purveyors are also short staffed and can’t pull or deliver product,” Mixon said. “I have made around eight trips to warehouses to get product when available and my sales reps have been doing the same thing.”
Trep’s will show both LSU and Saints games this weekend, but the restaurant will serve a limited food menu. However, the full bar will be available.
Guests can make reservations through Open Table, by calling the restaurant at 504-581-8900 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Current hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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Rusty Nail and Sidecar Patio & Oyster Bar
David Brown says both of his establishments will open for normal business hours starting on Friday. Touted as an “urban hideaway,” Sidecar will accept reservations for its outdoor patio space for fans looking to watch games this weekend.
Brown says the bars will offer beer bucket specials and discounts for lineman, but expect a limited food menu.
Sidecar is open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Rusty Nail opens from 4 p.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Bayou Beer Garden & Bayou Wine Garden
“We feel incredibly lucky that we are able to reopen with little damage,” general manager Morgan Scalco said. “Our biggest challenge was clean up and tracking down our amazing staff to make sure everyone was safe and able to return to the city.”
Scalco says COVID-19 safety is still a priority for the bars, so fans will have to flash their vaccination cards or negative COVID tests for entry.
The two neighboring bars will open for normal business hours serving the full menu as allowed.
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.
After Hurricane Ida, the bar has reopened and says it has a big weekend planned for football fans.
“It’s been a long time since we had a DJ and food trucks, but with LSU Saturday and the Saints Sunday we are bringing it all back just as big as big 2019,” Wrong Iron said in a Facebook post.
On Facebook, the bar has posted a few updates about the recovery process prior to reopening on Thursday. The staff had to stake up down trees and clean up the television glass in preparation for getting football ready.
Wrong Iron opens at 4 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. until on Saturday and Sunday.
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The Business Bar
For Saints and LSU games this weekend, the Business Bar on Freret Street will offer specialty team-inspired cocktails. It’s one of the creative ideas kicking off a big football weekend at the bar, especially when one of the owners is also the in-house mixologist.
Owners say they plan to show both games this weekend and open for extended hours so fans won’t miss any of the action. Fans heading there to watch can take advantage of food and drink specials during gametime.
After the storm, the owners say they purchased generators and inventory out of town in order to reopen doors quickly.
“We not only wanted to have something to offer to our community, but we wanted to give our staff hope during the devastating season that impacted everyone in some shape or form,” the owners said.
Oh, and those specialty cocktails include a Saints-inspired long island drink with a passionfruit twist called “She’s A Champion.” The bar will also serve an LSU-inspired cocktail called “Geaux Hard.”
For now, the temporary hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a limited food and drink menu. For the LSU game on Saturday, the bar will close at 10 p.m., and it will close at 7 p.m. on Sunday due to the Saints game.
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Here’s a list of more New Orleans bars that have reported reopenings:
This list is continuously being updated as we get information. Check back for updates. Please call to confirm a business is open before you drive out.
Don’t see your bar on this list? Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant
The Courtyard Brewery
Twelve Mile Limit
Finn McCool’s Irish Pub
Mid-City Yacht Club
Port Orleans Brewing Co.
Parasol’s Bar and Restaurant
New Orleans Social House
The Chart Room Bar
Le Bon Temps Roule
Second Line Brewing
Molly’s at the Market
Brieux Carré Brewing Company
Down the Hatch
Balcony Bar & Cafe
Manning’s Sports Bar & Grill
Three Palms Bar & Grill
Vandal Hookah Lounge
See also: What’s open: Where to find food, gas, groceries in New Orleans metro area after Hurricane Ida
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