It’s always such a struggle and a hard decision – What to get the old guy on his day? Long ago you ran out of tie ideas, and besides he hardly wears the darn things any more. Could get him his favorite beer or bottle of bourbon, but he is fully capable of buying those things for himself. You can take him to a dinner, but then about halfway through, the conversation breaks down into silence or hits on a topic none of us wants to discuss on what is supposed to be a happy occasion.
Father’s Day, more than Mother’s Day, is a challenge. Mom always seems so appreciative of whatever is done and Dad, well, Dad is Dad and feigns appreciation but the emotion is not really there.
If you will give me a moment, I think we can find a solution that will work for all parties, including, and most especially, you.
There are a number of new watering holes in town and you’ve been wanting to try them. Here is a special opportunity to spend some time with Dad, assuming that is desired. Sitting at a dinner table for two hours just sounds like torture, because it always has been in the past, so why should this year be any different? And by keeping the party physically moving, everyone is distracted so you don’t have to touch on “those topics.”
Why not a progressive pub crawl? It’s fun. The scenery is always changing. New drinks can be tried. And everyone can enjoy what they want at every stop.
Here are a few suggestions of places that not “old hat,” and most can provide both liquid refreshment and food sustenance.
Okay, let’s start with an entire category. The lots-of-fun surroundings and the kitschy, often tacky, décor make Tiki a fun choice. Besides, the drinks are festive, and these drinks are not the usual way we all swing.
An added bonus is that you can walk from one place to another. Park the car. Get some exercise, and wallow in the wonderful world of rum. Oh, and don’t forget the go-cups. Necessary.
Upstairs at the French Quarter location of Felipe’s Mexican Cuisine. Bordering on a “dive bar,” but actually quite excellent. Besides, when’s the last time you and Dad went to a classy dive bar? That long, eh? Then this is perfect.
301 N. Peters
Authentically (if Tiki can be authentic) correct. Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and his life partner, Annene, came to New Orleans to do just this, and they are generously sharing their passion and vision with the rest of us.
321 N. Peters
Do the guys who put together Cure ever make a misstep? Have not seen one yet. Certainly not here. Not in the location, the scope of the project, the drinks menu and the cuisine. An incredible joint. Tiki, again, comes front and center, but this is a complete bar that will have you sending “you should be here with us” texts to every friend you have.
1113 Decatur Street
To the Bywater for the new Café Henri as constructed by the same guys from the joint right above in this column. Café Henri is the Cure team’s (Neal Bodenheimer, Kirk Estopinal, and Nick Detrich} idea of what a bar and a restaurant would have been if their fathers had done such a thing. The place is named in honor of Neal’s dad. Very casual with a lot of comfort foods, plus, need we say it, great drinks.
800 Louisa Street
The latest, and likely the greatest, way to get a view of New Orleans from a high place is, fittingly, Alto. You are not so high up that the town appears like a Lego stage set, but you are up high enough to get the general idea of the Crescent City’s layout. Very chic and trendy.
600 Carondelet Street
Almost too new to know, but initial buzz is positive, even gushy. This wine bar on a grand scale is brought to you by PJ Rosenburg of Martin Wine Cellar fame, whose grandmother’s name the bar has taken, and Mark Latter, the savior of Tujague’s and proprietor, along with his wife, Candace, of Bin 428, a well-stocked wine shop on Magazine Street.
4525 Freret Street
Maybe Dad is not one of those “what’s happening now” guys. He’s just an honest Joe, without pretension, and likes his brews in not-so-fancy surroundings. That’s okay too. You, and New Orleans, can offer him places that meet those simple but very real needs.
(shares space with McClure’s Barbecue)
3001 Tchoupitoulas Street
(brand new and already serving terrific beers)
433 N. Bernadotte Street
(Mid-City’s answer to Munich, and right next door is Bayou Wine Garden)
626 N. Jefferson Davis Parkway
There does not appear to be anything further to note except that Happy Hour hopes these Father’s Day suggestions are helpful, and that you and your family have a great bonding day.
Read Happy Hour here on MyNewOrleans.com every Wednesday, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed at www.wgso.com. Also check out Last Call, Tim’s photo feature every month in New Orleans Magazine.