One of New Orleans’s original beer bars and a favorite Mardi Gras viewing destination reopens Friday, December 2, after a three-month closure following its sale to new owners, reports the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate. It’s been three months since the previous owner, Polly Watts, sold the beloved bar to a group that includes the owners of exceedingly popular barbecue spot Blue Oak BBQ and the owners of Frenchmen Street bar the Rambler.
The group closed Avenue Pub for renovations after the purchase, though left the interior layout much the same. The new aesthetic has more of an antique, old-school Irish pub vibe than the previous edgier, dive bar look, and adds a mini replica of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar riding on head-high tracks around the first floor of the bar. The second floor is still closed for renovations, with owners expecting to be able to open it in time for Mardi Gras; the balcony has long been a favorite parade-viewing location during Carnival season.
The bar’s new menu, once heralded as a local exemplar of elevated pub food, is significantly expanded and now heavily features smoked meats from Blue Oak BBQ, bringing in a few Blue Oak favorites like smoked wings and fried Brussels sprouts. There’s also tater tot poutine, a Swiss cheese-stuffed bratwurst, and a grilled chicken club, among other items. There’s a convenient walk-up window for ordering, and the kitchen is currently open until 11 p.m., though owners hope to extend those hours, according to NOLA.com. The owners also didn’t rule out a return to 24-hour service, which Avenue Pub was once known for, though it won’t be happening any time too soon. The bar, which has also added more TVs, is opening at 9 a.m. tomorrow for the USA versus Netherlands World Cup game, it said on Instagram.
Central City BBQ owners plan massive Tex-Mex restaurant for Metairie
A promising restaurant from the team behind Central City BBQ is getting closer to becoming reality after a number of supply chain-related construction delays, reports Biz New Orleans. The family-friendly Las Cruces is planned for late summer 2023 in Old Metairie at 2935 Airline Drive, blending the smoked meats from Central City BBQ with Tex-Mex staples. It’s a partnership between Marc Bonifacic, who opened Central City BBQ in 2016, and Aaron Burgau, the owner of Uptown favorites Patois and Charlie’s Steakhouse. The 8,000-square-foot Las Cruces will have indoor and outdoor seating for 300.
New Orleans’s favorite celebration of local fusion pop-ups returns
The hit NOLA Nite Market returns this weekend, the fourth year running for the special event celebrating local food pop-ups and vendors with an emphasis on Vietnamese, Japanese, Filipino, Thai, and Indian cuisines, among others. It takes place Saturday, December 3 from 3 to 10 p.m. at the Bonnabel Boat Launch in Metairie.
NOLA Nite Market debuted in 2019, organized by Thuy Pham, and modeled after the bustling nighttime outdoor markets common in many Asian countries. It has grown in popularity since, highlighting and help launch a number of talented local pop-ups. More than 20 vendors, among them favorites like Bao Mi, Wishing Town Bakery, Kusina, and LUFU Nola, will be accompanied by a lineup of performances by local bands, dance troupes, and entertainment for the kids.