As a Tulane student, it can get easy to get stuck in what some like to call “the Tulane bubble.” While they are fun for freshmen, everyone eventually gets tired of going to the same old college bars every night. But tonight, The Arcade is going to take you out of your comfort zone — and to a few unknown bars most Tulanians have never visited.
The Boot Bar and Grill:
The Boot Bar and Grill, a quiet, low-key bar with a charming ambiance, is a well-kept secret of New Orleans locals. The classy outdoor seating arrangement makes for many a romantic evening of cocktails and scintillating conversation under the stars, whereas the open, airy design of the indoor section of the bar lends itself to mingling, networking and, on a busier night, some dancing! The bartenders at this high-end establishment focus their cocktails around refined local liquors but be careful. They are not shy to have a generous hand when pouring! While the music is generally played by a “disc jockey” (“DJ,” for short) the “DJs” that they do hire at The Boot are true artists, weaving a tapestry of sound that sets the tone for a lively evening, while avoiding the overwrought pop that blares at most New Orleans bars. The Boot is a great bar for those looking for a mature, unique experience. Albeit, a bit of an intellectual crowd, but one that is definitely welcoming of diversity in conversation.
The Palms Bar and Grill is a great choice if you’re seeking a sleek, elite experience within the greater New Orleans area. Complete with an active VIP section and a chic patio bar, The Palms serves up the true “clubbing” experience one might be missing in the city. Word to the wise, any night of the week, The Palms attendees should be wary of the small army of enormous, experienced bouncers that keep the massive lines at bay and under control — they’re pretty tough. Once inside, The Palms can get crowded, but any frequent flier would agree that the experience is well-worth it. Local mixologists create a true “beverage experience,” mixing one-of-a-kind drinks that can’t be found at any other bar in the city. Any bartender can blend a unique cocktail, demonstrating their practice and expertise in the art of mixology. The vibe inside is not unlike what one might find at a high-end nightclub in Paris or Milan, as the VIP section offers the bottle service of any high-end liquor. **Update: Apparently the VIP section at The Palms has been reduced, and while this is a true shame for the many celebrities who do frequent this establishment, the bold move definitely makes sense, as admittance to The Palms has gotten so exclusive any patron truly is a “VIP.”
The Red Eye Grill:
The Red Eye Grill is the perfect place to visit when you’re interested in a bit of a calmer night: when you’re trying to take it easy, maybe grab a few drinks with some of your older coworkers or possibly even your parents. Since The Red Eye is on the smaller side, it offers an intimate, charming experience ripe with stimulating intellectual conversation, not like a pre-revolutionary Parisian “salon.” While The Red Eye may seem a bit tame, it can make for a lovely change of pace for the average Tulane student who frequents noisy college bars. The drinks are reasonably priced, which is surprising for such a respectable establishment but lends itself to a casual atmosphere that any collegiate student would appreciate. The vibe at The Red Eye could be most easily compared to a quaint historical bed and breakfast on the English countryside, complete with local culture, friendly bartenders and a floor so clean, you could practically eat off of it! Fair caution, though: As a bar that does attract a generally more mature crowd, The Red Eye is a bit stricter on enforcing the drinking age than most New Orleans bars, so if you’re going with parents, you may want to hold off until you hit the legal limit.