Snug Harbor Jazz Bristro
New Orleans Premier Jazz Club626 Frenchmen Street New Orleans, LA 70116 (504) 949-0696 www.snugjazz.com
Let’s just call it “Friday Night on Frenchman.” Please do not get it twisted. This is not the only night this street comes to life. I just love the sound of it and it is fast becoming a ritual for many local New Orleanians and tourist alike.
Personally, Frenchman Street means Snug Harbor which is located in an old storefront from the 1800’s that has been renovated. Whether you are there to catch the next jazz show or settle in for a delicious meal, Snug is the place to be. Located on the edge of the French Quarters, in the neighborhood of the Faubourg Marigny (known simply as “The Marigny” to locals), it is quickly becoming the place to catch live, up close and personal, jazz music. Singer Lizzie Miles and jazz musician/composer Jelly Roll Morton were residents and this neighborhood is still home to many of the same professions. Those who are familiar with HBO’s Treme, will recognize many of the venues along this infamous street.
Musicians that have regular sets at Snug are jazz vocalist Philip Manuel, jazz percussionist Herlin Riley (check out Herlin’s Facebook page), jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis (father of musician’s Wynton, Bradford and Delfeayo-who is also known to gig here), Leah Chase (namesake daughter of restaurateur Mrs. Chase of world-famous Dooky Chase on Orleans Avenue), jazz saxophonist Victor Goines, and Charmaine Neville (daughter of Charles Neville and niece of the remaining Neville Brothers). As you can see, New Orleans is a very connected city, with many families carrying on the traditions that make this city so special. Show times are 8 pm and 10 pm Monday through Sundays and tickets are purchased at the edge of the well-equipped bar. Local artists CDs can also be purchased here. There is floor seating, as well as my preference, taking the stairs to the balcony. It is best to arrive early because seats do fill fast. Also note that parking can be somewhat of a burden. There is a public lot located on Elysian Fields that charges guests by the hour. It is easier to park for the first set as opposed to the second set because Frenchmen revelers tend to come out later in the night and are present until the early morning. Usually sets lasts approximately an hour and a half, therefore parking could be satisfied with a $10 dollar bill. This lot is a short walk to Snug and there are many sights and people watching to hold your attention. While walking you may encounter the next musician to emerge because there are many street musicians. It is not out of the ordinary to catch entertainers that are already known such as the Rebirth Brass Band. For Hollywood star followers, you never know what celebrity you may see strolling Frenchmen Street or who may show up and decide to take the stage at Snug. Also located across the street is an art alley with local artists peddling their crafts.
If you would like to dine at Snug Harbor, dinner begins at 5:00 pm and the closing time depends on the day (Sunday thru Thursday – 10:45 pm/Friday and Saturday – 11:45 pm). It is the home of one of the best steak burgers in the city, and the side baked potato is so smooth, it has the texture and consistency of a mashed potato. With a price tag of $9.75, I consider it a true bargain. If burgers are not your forte, Snug’s menu is quite extensive. Consisting of seafood, chicken, steaks, sandwiches, and of course, those wonderful burgers, I am sure you will find something that will satisfy your taste. Make sure to save room for dessert. Bread pudding with hard sauce and traditional pecan pie are listed. Reservations can be made to make sure you are seated. If you are able, request one of the tables by the window and people watch while you dine. Remember, you never know you who may stroll by!