clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Early Word on Big Easy 'Speakeasy' Ninth Ward

New, 7 comments

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Krieger, 6/22/10

Ninth Ward, the old-timey New Orleans-themed cocktail lounge which opened a few weeks ago across the street from sister bar Shoolbred's on Second Avenue, has already taken a lot of crap for its name (though one of the owners apparently lived there). So far, the Louisiana beers, backyard patio and distressed-rustic decor are getting praise, while complainers cite pricey drinks, yuppie clientele and that faux-controversial name. Will it become an East Village fixture like Shoolbred's, or will it wind up abandoned and overrun with debris like its namesake? (Ouch.) To the early word:

The Good News News: On Yelp, a reviewer thinks this is more or less a sequel to Shoolbred's. Then again, his profile picture has him in a mullet wig: "From the owners of Shoolbred's comes essentially part deux. Good beer list - Arrogant Bastard, Chimay, etc on tap. Same two for one happy hour up to 8PM. Best addition for the summer: outdoor patio. No food yet, but it will be interesting to see how their menu pans out." [Yelp]

The "Inauthentic Decor" News: Yelper Ted L. doesn't get why they didn't name the bar after a different New Orleans neighborhood, but gives it three stars because, fuck it, he likes dark bars: "I don't understand why the owners decided to name this bar the Ninth Ward if not primarily to cause controversy. It's more inaccurate than offensive. If they're trying to invoke a genteel but rustic New Orleans why not the Garden District, or even, say, "Faubourg Marigny"? I came here on a Thursday at midnight. It smelled like wood and was crowded and dark. Anybody who knows me knows I like dark bars." [Yelp]

The Inauthentic Theme News: From a blogger in NoLa: "I mean, if they were serving up heineken and bounce music was playing, I’d probably have some respect. But a swanky over-priced New York cocktail bar? Come on. New York has many redeeming qualities but this is not one of them...Do they even know anything about the Ninth Ward? When is the last time you went to the Ninth Ward to drink Absinthe? And what is a witch doctress?" [Humid Beings]

The "Yes, It's Dark" News: Over on Shecky's, a profile highlights the expected drinks (Abita beer, a sazerac) and references the finest PG-13 horror movie ever made: "The bar drips with southern gothic style—there’s dusty liquor bottles lining the walls and wooden storm shutters on the windows. It’s kinda like you’re boozing in the movie The Skeleton Key (remember: it only can hurt if you believe)...They’re serving up authentic New Orleans libations that will leave you authentically drunk—an absinthe-rimmed Sazerac ($13) is the drink of choice for the crowd full of local booze hounds. Chase it down with a Louisiana-brewed Abita Light ($7) as you camp out in one of the spacious back booths and snack on their southern-style light bites (an oxymoron?)." [Shecky's]

The "Has Potential" News: Allison H. of Yelp went on opening night: "Good looking crowd of semi-preppy dudes and the girls that hook up with them. Took 10 minutes to get us drinks, i was thinking of showing some boob. I think when this place settles into the neighborhood and the sparkle wears off it'll be a little more laid back and welcoming.

The Okay News: NY Barfly files a report: "To be fair, we stopped by on the bar’s second or third day. They weren’t fully up and running with their cocktail program, and the bartender struggled to keep up with even a small crowd. But, the space itself? Beautiful, in a seemy/steamy southern way. You know, like a sweaty Blanche Dubois after she had too many...We’ll definitely be back when they get their sea (or hurricane) legs and start dishing out some true Southern libations. " [NYBarfly]

The Bad News: From the Eater tipline: "I really liked the outdoor space and the fact that we were allowed to stay out there pretty late. But the waitress didn't know what she was doing, there is no food, and the drinks are overpriced for what they are. Otherwise, again, great backyard for the summer. [Eater Tipline]

The Twitterific News: @foodpusher gives some love to the Laura Palmer cocktail, an ode to both Arnold Palmers and Twin Peaks. Zagat events maven Rebecca Klasfeld enjoys the back patio, and @RambleOn623 likes the drinks and design.

- Zachary Feldman

Ninth Ward

180 2nd Ave., New York, NY

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater New York newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world