I went to New Orleans recently and found this bit from Esquire to be spot on, in retrospect. I can’t wait to go back.
Going by a couple of hours spent sipping Sazeracs at Tujague’s, Napoleon House, Arnaud’s, or any one of the other great old French Quarter oases — about as pleasant a thing as any clothed adult can do — you’d never know there was a Katrina. But then again, neither would you know there was a 21st century. New Orleans bars are very conservative places, in the best sense of the word: Proprietors won’t change things just to make them new and shiny. And if they find something that works for them, they’ll stick to it, come hell or high water — or, in this case, both. All of this is by way of saying that unlike restaurants, there aren’t a lot of new bars in the city. And the best of the ones there are, Café Adelaide in the Loews Hotel, already seems like it has been there forever. We consider that a healthy sign.