Time was, Frenchmen Street was a quiet little stretch where neighbors shopped, ate, and drank. They did the latter—and still do—right here, especially weeknights when they can fit into the dank shoebox of a room. Nowadays the Barrel is almost an afterthought, given the plethora of shinier nearby options. But for authenticity, divey-ness, and solid, low-key tunes, it shouldn’t be. There’s no cover, there’s Sam Cammarata’s unpredictable blues guitar on occasion, and there’s Adolfo’s upstairs for pretty darn good Creole Italian food (put your name on the list about an hour before you get hungry).