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Freret Street Revival

Contributing Writer

Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 20:02

CHERIE LEJEUNE/ Contributing Photographer

CHERIE LEJEUNE/ Contributing Photographer

Freret— it’s difficult to pronounce if you aren’t from New Orleans, but it’s probably one of the first streets any Loyola student becomes familiar with. It borders campus, its bus will take you all the way downtown, and its up-and-coming nightlife scene is an easy ten minute walk from campus.

Five years ago, the portion of Freret Street that lies between Jefferson and Napoleon avenues did not look the way it does now. Foot traffic from college students was minimal— all memories of trekking to Tuck’s aside. Restaurants like Dat Dog, The Company Burger, Liberty Cheesesteaks and Midway Pizza had yet to make Freret Street their home.

But with these new and popular restaurants has come a steady stream of pedestrians, and in the past year, three bars popular with Loyola students have opened their doors on Freret Street: Publiq House, Gasa Gasa and The Other Bar. Seemingly overnight, Freret Street has become a new nightlife destination.

Look for a boldly-lit neon sign and retro-style marquee and you’ll know you’ve reached Publiq House. It’s Freret Street’s one and only “cocktail-pub,” as the bar calls itself. As odd of a combination as that might seem, it makes sense once you enter the spacious building. The dark wooden tables and rustic wall decor keep the bar casua, yet its glistening chandeliers and mason jar cocktails speak to its style and class. With a weekday happy hour that lasts until 8 p.m., a stage that regularly hosts live music and a bingo night on Wednesdays that they so cleverly call Bjingo Unchained— there’s no reason not to pay this bar a visit.

“The bar’s staff is really nice,” music industry senior Molly Portier said. “Also, their White Russian daiquiri is to die for.”

From the ashes of an old makeshift music venue called Breezy’s comes a new, more permanent staple on Freret Street called Gasa Gasa.

A group of dedicated business partners recently turned this abandoned warehouse into a colorful, funky space for rock ‘n’ roll diehards, blues enthusiasts and everyone in between to gather for drinks and live music.

This venue is one of the few spots Uptown that is wholeheartedly dedicated to bringing in a variety of both touring and local bands, and is never exclusive to any particular genre. A glance at their calendar will prove that there’s hardly ever a night without good music here.

This living room-style, retro-chic bar somehow feels like home– the old piano gathering dust in the corner, the stack of LPs sitting next to the record player and then there’s a Skee Ball machine that is fully operable, surely some kind of Chuck E. Cheese throwback.

The Other Bar is one of the cozier nooks on Freret Street, with soft lighting and plenty of chairs and tables to gather around. There’s always a chalkboard easel that sits on the curb, boasting the day’s specials, and the bar never gets too loud, making it conducive to conversation.

“It’s a great pre-party spot,” English writing senior Ashley Curtis said. “It’s where I go to meet up with friends. Surprisingly, the bar’s name has yet to confuse any of us.”

Cherie LeJeune can be reached at 

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