If ever you have sat there at the interminable progression of traffic signals that now separates Canal Boulevard from Canal Street and City Park Avenue, watching lonely streetcars swing around the curves, hoping that the light will turn or that something, anything will change, and deciding that really the only thing to fix the situation would be a drink, you now have a new option nearby.
Cask (5123 Canal Blvd., 504-518-5964) is a new lounge developed in an address with a long history as a watering hole. Besides that traffic interchange, it sits next to the Bulldog and is surrounded by cemeteries, giving it the feel of an outpost on the border of different neighborhoods.
The footprint of this longtime bar is largely the same, though the look now is much more stylish, with that rustic-chic motif of open rafters, wood paneling and tile and padded banquettes. The aim is to be a laid-back neighborhood spot with a different niche than the current supply of pubs and bars nearby.
The focus is on cocktails and wine on tap, along with local beers on tap. As Cask gets rolling, it will add charcuterie and cheese boards, flatbreads and other snacks, said manager Brandon Gourgues. The lounge may also host pop-ups from visiting chefs and the occasional food truck.
Also look for flights of bourbon or scotch and wine soon, Gourgues said.
Different generations of New Orleans people may associate this Canal Boulevard address with different predecessor bars. Most recently it was Bob Roth’s Lounge, and before that McNulty’s Bitter End (no relation to this writer). For many years, it was home to Par Fours.
Cask was developed by a group of local businessmen including Claude Mauberret, who is also a partner in the Lakeview bar Parlay’s on Harrison Avenue.
Cask is open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Happy hour specials run weekdays from 3-7 p.m.
If you stay too long, consider taking the streetcar. There is usually one idling just outside, waiting for the lights to change too.
5123 Canal Blvd., 504-518-5964
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