5 best new New Orleans bars

By David Lee Simmons, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Photo by David Lee Simmons, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans restaurant renaissancehas been matched in recent years with the bar renaissance. As we sat down to decide which new bars should be on our 2014 list, we found many of the ones we liked were associated with restaurants.

When is a restaurant bar also a great bar? After much discussion, we agreed that while it often is a tough call, a space feels more like a bar when patrons can sit and sip while experiencing little to no pressure to order food. Other spaces earned extra credit for having a separate space or entrance, creating distance from the dining room.

We also wanted to include bars that had opened since our last guide but well enough in advance of our deadlines this year, to give the businesses a chance to find their legs. So, you may notice the exclusion of some new bars that we considered too new to qualify.

That said, this top five is a must-have for those looking for examples of the depth and breath of New Orleans' ever-expanding nightlife. [...]

Empire Bar, 819 Conti St., 504.581.3866

Todd A. Price writes: "A national magazine once called Paul Gustings, who spent years at Tujague's, the crankiest bartender in America. These days, he's at Broussard's new Empire Bar, where you'll often see a smile on his face. Why wouldn't he be happy?" [...]

Source and full article: nola.com