Opening this summer in the Warehouse District, the new $80-million Virgin Hotels New Orleans will feature multiple dining and drinking outlets – including the Pool Club. The rooftop pool and lounge, situated on the 13th floor, will serve as a haven overlooking the New Orleans skyline offering food, libations and dancing. 550 Baronne St., virginhotels.com/new-orleans.
New cider taproom Kingfish Cider has opened as the first taproom of any category in Jefferson Parish. The crisp and bubbly alcoholic beverage offers a new way to imbibe. The eclectic taproom features a vintage theme with pieces of old cars comprising the bar. The cider menu is even drawn on the hood of an antique Chevy. The micro-distillery, named after the infamous Louisiana politician Huey P. Long (a.k.a. the “Kingfish”) also features a Prohibition-era aesthetic steeped in Louisiana history and culture. Kingfish Cider also has a small number of Louisiana beers on draft, along with some local spirits. Guests can create their own charcuterie boards using cheese and meats that the cidery keeps stocked from St. James Cheese Co. 331 Iris Ave., Jefferson, 273-7868, kingfishcider.com.
The entire LeBLANC + SMITH portfolio of restaurants and bars is offering new summer drink specials that won’t be around for long. At Sylvain, Cavan and Barrel Proof, any time the temperature hits 98 degrees or higher, frozen drinks will be offered at half off (one per person). Also at Sylvain, anyone showing a picture of their vaccine card will receive half off a frozen cocktail. At The Chloe, guests can expect a new summer cocktail menu with specialty drinks that include the Yacht Party (chamomile vodka, cranberry, elderflower, Curaçao, lemon and bubbles) or Idle Hands (Trakal, Genépi, lemon, almond, sparkling wine and eucalyptus), to name a few. 625 Chartres St., 265-8123, sylvainnola.com; 3607 Magazine St., 509-7655, cavannola.com; 1201 Magazine St., barrelproofnola.com; 4125 St. Charles Ave., 541-5500, thechloenola.com.
Governor John Bel Edwards has signed HB 219 that allows businesses to sell cocktails to-go permanently in order to help accelerate the hospitality industry’s recovery from the pandemic.
Live Music at Bayou Bar
Located on the ground floor of the Pontchartrain Hotel, Bayou Bar has returned to offering live music Wednesday through Saturday evenings from 7-10 p.m. The casual, tavern-style bar has a storied past, with both Sinatra and Capote spending many nights imbibing in the Garden District drinking den. Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is no cover charge. Performances feature an array of local artists, including the Peter Harris Trio and Jordan Anderson, amongst others. Also be sure to peruse the extensive whiskey collection, creative craft cocktail menu and inventive dishes from the Jack Rose dinner menu. 2031 St. Charles Ave., 323-1456, bayoubarneworleans.com.
Marigny Bar Debut
Madame Vic’s bar recently opened in the Marigny. As his first commercial project, owner Scott Veazey wanted to open a neighborhood bar that would be on par with the original Ms. Mae’s, Pal’s Lounge and Mimi’s in the Marigny. In fact, Mimi even helped with the bar equipment and design, giving the boîte a “Mimi’s “feel. He also wanted live music played by local musicians, mainly traditional jazz. The name is a nod to the woman who built the structure in 1885 as a single-family home. Madame Vic’s offers drink specials weekdays during happy hour and on weekends, plus live music five nights per week. So far, bands have included Madame Vic’s House Jazz Band and Russell Welch Gypsy Jazz Band (among others). Food pop-ups are also featured on nights with live music. There’s a six-bedroom inn on the top floor, so guests can book a stay.1500 Elysian Fields Ave., 841-9248.