advertisement

First things first about this funky former general store: It's not really about the food. Sure, you can get blackened grouper or shrimp and crawfish, but really, it's all about the vibe. Live jazz music and a buzzy cocktail scene, not to mention the occasional late-night celebrity sighting (Sheryl Crow and Jim Carrey have been here), are what make this off-the-beaten-path bar and restaurant one of the hottest spots in town. (It's also one of the hardest places to find a parking spot.) A ramshackle dive delight, The Red Bar is very red, yes, but more interestingly, it's also an homage to memorabilia pack rats, outfitted with random rock 'n' roll posters and pretty much anything else you can hang on a wall, which crams every last crevice of ceiling and wall space. It's an awesome, dizzying sight. During the summer, The Red Bar opens first thing in the morning, and Bloody Marys seem to be the local breakfast of champions. Even if you don't go to eat, you have to go for at least one drink. The Red Bar doesn't take reservations, so be prepared to wait. Also in the old-school category: It's cash only.