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Sidelined for Months, Several New Orleans Bars Open for Curbside Service

While bars are now permitted to open for curbside service, it’s too late for some local favorites

A sign outside J&J’s in Bywater
Clair Lorell/ENOLA

Last week, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced a month-long, phased reopening for the city’s bars, starting with curbside service on Saturday, October 3. Bars remain closed for on-premise consumption, but city officials have laid out a plan that will soon let them open for outdoor seating, and could allow indoor seating as early as October 31.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many businesses licensed as bars have obtained a restaurant conditional permit from the state — including favorites like Barrel Proof, Finn McCool’s, and Pirogues — allowing them to operate as restaurants. Still, some of New Orleans’s most loved and essential watering holes have closed their doors for good over the brutal months, a finality discovered now that their opportunity to reopen in some capacity has arrived. The Marigny’s dark and loungey Lost Love Lounge, from the same owners as Pirogues; Mimis in the Marigny, a longtime destination for its excellent tapas and funky atmosphere; and Miss Mae’s, Uptown’s 24/7 dive known for staying open after Hurricane Katrina, have all shuttered.

For bars still holding on by a thread, some are embracing curbside, hoping it will allow them to make it to a point of on-premise consumption and, one day, back to a full capacity operation. In Bywater, J&J’s and Markey’s are back up and running for go-cups; down the road in the Marigny Big Daddy’s Bar is open for curbside service, and in the French Quarter, neighborhood favorites Erin Rose, Molly’s at the Market, Cafe Lafitte in Exile, Golden Lantern, and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop are all open and operating takeout windows.

Both bars and restaurants in New Orleans are allowed to sell to-go alcohol from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., the same hours statewide. Should New Orleans continue to meet the positivity rate benchmarks set out by the city, bars could be permitted to open outdoor seating on October 16, followed by indoor seating on October 31.

If we missed a New Orleans now offering curbside service, let us know.

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