Where Bayou St. John abruptly ends, there’s a rotary that functions like the turning basin for New Orleans’ bicycle path network, with cyclists branching off to the compass points from here.
Within view of it, there’s now a new beer garden-style bar intended to give a reason to get out of the saddle.
Wrong Iron (3532 Toulouse St., 504-302-0528) opened in January after many months of construction. It sits adjacent to what was once a railroad line, since converted into the Lafitte Greenway, the path running from the edge of the French Quarter through Mid-City.
Wrong Iron is aiming to be an extension of the outdoor activity along the Greenway and Bayou St. John. It also marks a distinct change of pace for a neighborhood already well known for its neighborhood joints.
Mid-City is peppered with bars built in old houses or corner stores (or old houses turned into stores turned into bars), and marked by all the various workarounds and renovations contained within them.
Wrong Iron was designed and built from the ground up to embrace the beer garden trend. The patio itself looks like an orchard with mid-size live oaks rising between ranks of long, narrow tables and enough large-screen TVs to equip a casino sports book. A bocce ball court sits at the ready.
Fire pits and stacks of blankets are set up for chilly weather. The outdoor areas are dog-friendly, and the beer garden has a gate opening directly to the Greenway.
The tavern inside is like a barn with roll-up doors and a ceiling of pressed tin and rustic-looking beams high above.
It will take quite a crowd to make this place feel full though Wrong Iron certainly has the beer ready for them. Fifty taps line the long bar. There's a separate area for wine by the glass, with a dispenser system that draws straight from the bottle.
A changing lineup of food trucks will provide the food (the Fete au Fete food truck has been deployed lately).
Wrong Iron joins a growing list of bars oriented to the outdoors around New Orleans, like the entwined Bayou Beer Garden and Bayou Wine Garden complex just two blocks away, and the college-quad-sized Tchoup Yard off Tchoupitoulas Street.
This bar was developed along a slice of Mid-City undergoing rapid change. From a table in the beer garden, you can look across the Greenway to hundreds of new apartments rising in multistory clusters. The bar is situated behind the post office and next to Bayou Bicycles, adjacent to the lot where a warehouse that was home to several businesses burned down last spring.
Wrong Iron was developed by a group of partners with other businesses nearby. That includes Herb Dyer, a partner in the Bulldog and Velvet Cactus, and Billy Good and Rusty Smith, who developed a location of the Camp Bow Wow dog care chain nearby.
The connection to the Bulldog taverns is clear in the design, though Wrong Iron is an order of magnitude larger than any other in the pack.
And the name? It's railroad lingo, used to describe a track on which a train runs in the opposite of the usual direction (see also high iron, the term for the main track).
3532 Toulouse St., 504-302-0528
Mon.-Fri., 3 p.m.-2 a.m.
Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
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