It's the place you swing by after a long day work, to watch the game or just to yuck it up with some familiar faces. It was the backdrop of a long-running TV series where "Everybody knows your name".
Yes, I'm talking about the neighbor bar.
South Louisiana has a long list watering holes that cater to regulars and visitors just popping in for a drink. Here's a sampling of some of local favorites on and off the grid. Keep in mind, some of these bars also serve as music venues where the beer is always cold, the company's friendly and you just might run into a familiar face.
Best Outdoor Venues
The Wurst Biergarten
Image courtesy of Paul Kieu
This Downtown Lafayette outdoor venue has a munchies menu including brats and poutine, and a diversified, rotating beer list that showcases locally brewed and other craft beers. Now with a back bar space, open air market and stage, the Wurst offers something for everyone from live music, yoga classes and art and jewelry made by local artisans. The venue is family and pet friendly, too. Weather permitting, the Wurst, at 537 Jefferson Street, is five days a week excluding Monday until 2 a.m. For more about the Wurst, visit WurstBiergarten.com.
Located a stone’s throw from Downtown Lafayette, The Blue Moon Saloon is almost as much a time-honored tradition as it is a hoppin’ juke joint. The bar offers a plethora of local, regional, and out-of-state bands on regular rotation. Combined with a classic wood dance floor perfect for a toe-tappin’, hip-swingin’ good time, and a comfortable, built-in hostel with plenty of beds should the night prove to be too much excitement. The Blue Moon Saloon is an outdoor bar with tons of Cajun personality that’s perfect for introducing out-of-towners to everything South Louisiana has to offer. For hours, an event calendar, and more, visit https://bluemoonpresents.com.
Best Place to Play
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/JeffersonStGreenroom/
Open 365 days a year, the Green Room at 229 Jefferson Street, has grown into more than a local hangout. It throws holiday parties, hosts a weekly trivia night, karaoke, comedy shows and serves as a gallery for local artists. It's also a pool hall and a hot spot for foosball and shuffleboard. The venue was one the first downtown to jump on instilling a smoke-free policy before the city-wide mandate went into effect on Aug. 1. So breathe easy and grab a cocktail any day of the week at this lively local go-to. Visit GreenroomDowntown.com for more.
Best to Drink with the Whole Gang
Image courtesy of LegendsOfLafayette.com
Legends truly has managed to pull off being a popular neighborhood bar because it operates eight locations throughout Lafayette Parish. With indoor and outdoor seating, bar games like cornhole and giant Jenga, daily drink specials and what many consider some of the best burgers in town, it's an after work favorite. Visit legendsoflafayette.com for events, drink specials and more.
The World of Beer is the perfect place for beer lovers to gather to watch the big game or just meet up for dinner with friends. Started in Florida in 2007 by two best friends as a craft beer bottle shop grew into a gathering place for beer explorers & food lovers alike. So find great conversation, drink the best craft beers, cheer on your favorite team, and start making memories!
Best Bar with a View
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/AtchafalayaBasinLanding/
Drive about 27 miles northwest of Downtown Lafayette and you'll find Henderson, one of my favorite communities in South Louisiana. One of the most accessible nearby gateways to the Atchafalaya Basin, the levee town is home to waterfront dance hall Whiskey River Landing, Pat's Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant, and just down Levee Road, you'll find Turtles Bar. Connected to Atchafalaya Basin Landing and Swamp Tours, this colorful watering hole looks out to the largest wetland in the U.S. If you don't mind the sound of docking airboats, smell of boat diesel, and the laughter of locals catching up on local gossip, you'll fit right in here. You can even knock on the bar window grab a beer while you watch the sun set from the back patio.
Located deep in the heart of scenic Arnaudville, Bayou Teche's home base of operations offers regular live music, seasonal events, and an incredible view of the countryside. Its spacious outdoor bar works overtime as a dancefloor, music venue, and family space. A regular haunt for Cajun and zydeco players as well as locals from all over South Louisiana, the brewery is a snapshot of the company's focus on Cajun culture. It has become a great place to pass a good time out in the middle of nowhere. Bayou Teche Brewing is open Wednesday - Sunday. Click here for events, drink specials, and more.
Best Bourbon Selection
Offering a cool, intimate atmosphere for sipping "boutique" cocktails concocted from a long list of choice spirits, The Barrel works to provide a little something different than your average bar. Located at 811 Alberson Parkway, the bar is nestled in one of the fastest growing areas for local drinking and dining. The Barrel updates hours and events on its Facebook page.
While most people know Social for the culinary machinations of Chef Marc Krampe and his talented crew (their burger is a favorite splurge of mine when I want to eat my feelings, but also treat myself), the restaurant regularly scores high marks and receives accolades for its extensive whiskey selection and talented bartenders. From barrel-aged cocktails to original creations made with local and in-house ingredients, the restaurant does an excellent job serving as both classy restaurant designed to impress and local jaunt filled with bartenders quick to learn the names of its regulars. Social Southern Table and Bar is located at 3901 Johnston street and open six days a week serving up brunch, lunch and dinner (though not all three most days). Visit SocialSouthern.com for more details and menus.
Best Place to Watch a Saints Game
This is speaking from personal experience. After a heartbreaking start of the season, the New Orleans Saints beat the Carolina Panthers, 34-13. I watched the win from a bar located in the first floor of high-end apartments in a part of town you are likely to see some of the most the expensive vehicles in Lafayette. And it was wild. The screaming, the clanking of beers bottles, the heckling and the embrace of strangers made me love this venue. Not to mention that The Tap Room, at 201 Settlers Trace Blvd., has a wide selection of craft and imported brews, daily specials and a tasty menu of gourmet flatbread and hotdogs. Check it out at lataproom.com.
Looking for a few other options on where to wet your whistle?
Check out these other bars in South Louisiana.
Jefferson Street Pub
500 Jefferson St
Marley’s Sports Bar
407 Jefferson St
109 General Mouton Ave
The Office Bar
324 Jefferson St
905 Jefferson St
The Green Room
229 Jefferson St
The Studio Downtown
425 Jefferson St
902 Johnston St
524 Jefferson St
Bolt Bar & Patio
114 McKinley St
2905 E Simcoe St
2431 W Congress St
The Brass Room
1301 LA 728-8
The Pearl Lafayette
222 Jefferson St
3103 Johnston St
Max’s Pool Hall
105 Kaliste Saloom Rd
1 Degaulle Square
1521 W Pinhook Rd
211 N Ambassador Caffery Pkwy
1013 E St Mary Blvd
The Grouse Room
1919 Kaliste Saloom Rd Ste 303