Memorializing the Weekend Part I
While many locals head east for Florida beaches and emerald water, those of us that remain in NOLA for Memorial Day Weekend have a varierty of events to choose from and even have more time to explore some of the new spaces in town.
The Lower Garden District welcomes its newest drinking establishment in Claret which was concieved by the Latter Hospitality Group who also own Tujague's and Bar Francis. Claret is located in the rear of new Magazine Street building named the Framework which resembles something out of Scottsdale rather than NOLA. The exterior walls are all glass panels and a generous patio opening beckons customers to the outside porch and astro turf area. The bar itself is a comfortable u-shaped service counter surrounded by full service tables. Wine selections and craft cocktails abound, and well thought out small plates are available designed by Bar Francis chef Marcus Woodham.
Of course there is always a festival in this town, and Greek Festival on Bayou St. John did not disappoint. The Fest kicks off officially on Friday evening with a 5K and then continues through the remainder of the weekend. It has well overgrown the Hellenic Cultural Center, but still had great food, plenty of beer, and Greek wine and Grappa with lots of oppotrunity to gaze at the passing crowd.
Pool time was next and both the Country Club in the Bywater and the Drifter Hotel on Tulane Avenue were packed. The Country Club suspended drag brunch for the weekend, but that did not stop eager patrons from partaking in the bottomless mimosas. It's fun to just watch the crowed stream in and head to the pool which by the afternoon, was full of bodies. Meanwhile on the oppostie side of town, the Drifter Hotel continues to be the hipster pool with hula hoops, beach balls and an outstanding DJ pumping up the crowds. Oddly enough, everyone concregates at or around the pool but seemingly never in the pool. Their generous selection of unique beers and ales as well as the slush machines featuring French 75's as one of the craft cocktails always keeps the crowds imbibed. Stay tuned for part Two of Memorial Day weekend.
1320 Magazine Street
The Country Club
634 Louisa Street
The Drifter Hotel
3522 Tulane Avenue