With a greater inclination to imbibe than our less boisterous Yankee brethren and college campuses lavishly dotting the landscape, it’s a fair and accurate assumption that establishments where you can catch the game and eat well are commonplace throughout Acadiana. No matter the sport, televised games are best enjoyed in the presence of a cheering crowd. Even if you arrive solo, the immediate unifying camaraderie ensures a great time.
Zob and Davis Munnerlyn took over the 50-plus year-old E&E Sports Bar on Main Street in New Iberia two years ago. Long a favorite local gathering spot, the Munnerlyns added a large courtyard and filled it and the existing bar with comfortable furniture you can really sink into – à la living room. Though E&E does not sell food it is offered up for free (yes, free) for No Cook Tuesdays with Lauren (she’s the bartender) when Zob will have cooked up anything from red beans and rice with smoked sausage, to stuffed turkey wings and shrimp and grits, and she is justifiably famous for her chicken salad sandwiches. She recently added Dogs Days of Summer with free hot dogs offered on Thursdays, and platters of sliders are set out for Slider Sundays. Between the comfortable environs, free grub and multiple 65-inch flat screen televisions, what’s not to love? “I will put my courtyard up against any big sports bar in Baton Rouge and Lafayette,” Zob says. “And our ladies room is decorated with vintage ladies’ hats and handbags. It is a must-see. These are the things that make us unique and set us apart.”
The draw at the Corner Bar – with locations in Lafayette and Youngsville – is, oddly, somewhat health-related. Owned and operated by well-known tri-athlete, Stan Lerille, son of Red Lerille (Mr. America, 1960), who owns the South’s largest health club, Corner Bar has become a meeting place for running groups, cycling time trials and duathlons. Always clean and smoke-free, Corner Bar offers 24 beers on tap that rotate seasonally and 15 gigantic LCD televisions in both locations. Though the typical roster of bar food is available the standouts are the super-premium hotdogs offered on French bread and the marinated Snyder’s hard cider pretzels that Took’s Meat Market prepares exclusively for The Corner Bar.
Live music and pool tournaments draw crowds to the cavernous Route 92 in Youngsville. It matters not that the place is somewhat cave-like: It features seven pool tables, picnic tables on a covered front porch, expansive spaces for dancing to live music, and televisions indoors as well as out. Boiled seafood is offered on the cheap on Thursday nights and raw oysters make a regular appearance. The limited everyday bar food menu is what you would expect: fried mozzarella, jalapeño poppers and the like. Sometimes that’s just exactly what you want.
Traveling by boat but ready to hit a bar for the game? In addition to docking slips, the out-of-the-way Wawee’s on the Vermillion River features the requisite bank of flat-screens as well as a gigantic outdoor deck, live music and tasty versions of fried bar food favorites.
Corner Bar 3103 Johnston St., Lafayette (337) 456-3063 and 1700 Chemin Metairie Parkway, Youngsville, (337) 451-4149, cornerbarla.com
E&E Sports Bar 842 W. Main St., New Iberia, (337) 322-2522
Okra Festival 203 N. New Market St., St. Martinville, 337-394-2233 or 337-394-2230, firstname.lastname@example.org
Route 92 Bar 2600 East Milton Ave., Youngsville, (337) 857-5025
Wawee’s on the River 411 W. Milton Ave., Milton (337) 856-8336
Aug. 6-8, the Okra Festival will be held on the grounds along the beautiful Bayou Teche in St. Martinville. An okra cookoff will be held on Saturday morning and there are crafts, carnival rides and dance performances.