While restaurants across New Orleans continue to reopen, many of us have been patiently waiting for bars to open their doors, too – safely,  of course. Recently, the city has allowed bars to open at 25 percent capacity during the Phase 2 reopening plan. Caution: that does not mean it’s time to flood the place without proper safety precautions, but it does mean a few people will be able to enjoy a cocktail in a sanitized environment with limited options and spaced out seating. Nonetheless, people looking to have a drink somewhere other than home shouldn’t despair.

A note before you head out: you may need to call ahead to see if there is space available and if they require information for contract tracing. Keep in mind, bars that don’t serve food will be operating at 25 percent capacity. So, while you will be able to go in and enjoy your drink, there will likely be no or limited access to posting up at the countertop.

Given the ‘new normal’ way of going out, if you’re itching to get back out there, several places are making it possible to enjoy a night out with a hand-crafted cocktail and yes, even the occasional happy hour.

Johnny Sanchez (930 Poydras St.) If you’re downtown and in the mood for fun, Johnny Sanchez could be your place. Right now they are offering temporary hours and limited capacity for dine-in services. Good news, there is a happy hour offered Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. You’ll be able to choose from half-off draft beer and house margaritas. They are also offering $10 off bottles of wine.

Wrong Iron (3532 Toulouse St.) This open-air establishment offers drinks and a food truck lineup. Happy hour at Wrong Iron is Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., where you can order a mixed drink double for the price of a single, wine on tap with 9 ounces of wine for the 6-ounce price, and $1 off pints of draft beer. Tables are spread out and social distancing is a must.

The Elysian Bar (2317 Burgundy St.) The Elysian Bar is open Thursday – Sunday from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. with outdoor seating and a condensed menu. Cocktails include are the French 75, Negroni, Boulevardier, Americano, Juliet & Romeo and the Mexican Firing Squad. There are also beer and wine options available.


These of course are just a few options. If you have a hankering to go out for a cocktail, just call ahead. Many places are trying to figure out how to make our favorite bars, safe and healthy for everyone.