Snug Harbor, New Orleans
Snug Harbor is and always has been a funky jazz club with uncomfortable chairs and occasional problems with the microphones, but it's hard to imagine a more intimate setting. The main room might seat 50 people. (There is an upstairs balcony which provides good viewing if you can seat in the front row balcony.) The stage is raised about a foot and the performers are right there in the room with you, definitely in touching distance.
Almost all of the performers are from New Orleans, and some have regular scheduled days to perform. Charmaine Neville anchors Monday nights and always puts on a terrific show. Ellis Marsalis, Johnny Vidacovich and George French are there regularly. Whoever is playing, their bandmates are likely to include some of New Orlean's musical royalty with Batistes, Nevilles, Jordans and all sorts of terrific side men. Tickets are resonable, hardly ever more than $20. There are two shows at 8pm and 10pm. Get there early and have a spectacular burger and baked potato, on of the best dinners in the Crescentg City for under $15.
Dress Code: Very casual.
Snug Harbor is always listed on the live venues of New Orleans although I had the feeling they focus a bit more on their cozy restaurant (it looks beautiful with all these candlelit tables) than the area where the live performances take place. But the music room is also nice with two floors.
They don’t allow pictures/video inside so I will just post the one we took earlier in the day from outside.
As elsewhere in New Orleans there are 2 different sets (20.00 and 22.00) with the weekly program filled always with some popular local names, Ellis Marsalis is always suggested for some nice sets (check their site for the program)
My husband and I just spent 4 days in New Orleans and were looking forward to a nice relaxing evening at Snug Harbor. One table was occupied when we arrived and the host brought us to a table in the middle of the room. We asked for a window table, near the occupied table, so we could take in the view while eating. The host made some comment about seating rotations and said it would take a while if we didn't take the table offered. Not wanting to make a big deal out of it, we took the table. During the entire time we were there he didn't seat any group at that table even though the restaurant was practically full by the time we left. I guess he was holding it for someone he thought he could impress. Not feeling welcome, we left after our meal and went down the street to d.b.a. where we ended up every night for music and drinks. The food at Snug Harbor was good, our waitress Colleen was nice but due to the arrogance of the Host (Julian or something similar) we won't be back.
My first Jazz experience when I moved to New Orleans was in this wonderful venue. The rather small intimate setting where a not-so-big area for the audience sits in front of a ever so slightly elevated stage offers a cozy setting for the contemporary jazz.
The place to go for contemporary jazz, this bar and restaurant is home base for various members of the Marsalis and Neville families. Dining from 5 pm. Show times at 9 and 11 pm. Cover charge begins at US$10 and varies according to the performer. Reservations recommended for big shows or during holidays.
Dress Code: I'd refrain from wearing jeans. Some serious musicians come to this place -- to sit in or perform. Do yourself justice and but don't over do it. It's New Orleans after all.
Snug Harbor advertizes itself as the premier jazz club in the Big Easy. Their calendar is full of name acts and the acoustics and ambience in the back room are excellent. If you want an up close and personal modern jazz experience, this is it. The cover charge varies with the band and reservations are recommended for weekends or big names. The restaurant serves up traditional New Orleans recipes for the jazz room and the street side restaurant where you can still enjoy the live performance as background music.
I didn't recognize the band when I showed up on a Thursday night but didn't hesitate to pay the cover. (If you want to be shown a good time you have to drop some cash.) The band played a cool, intellectual jazz that left me somewhat unsatisfied. I ordered coffee and bread pudding and was disappointed there, too. Like the music it wasn't bad, but it wasn't special either. So I lasted about three songs and then headed back out. Just because I spent some money to get in did not mean that I had to give them my precious time as well.
But this is where my luck turned around. The waitress was sitting at the quiet bar out front, also apparently avoiding the music. I mentioned that I still had a lot to see in my one night and she immediately took me under her wing. Consulting with the bar tender she wrote two addresses on a napkin for me: the Rock 'n Bowl and Vaughan's. According to her, these were 'real New Orleans' night spots that I absolutely had to see. Heaven bless this woman! She turned a very enjoyable evening into a spectacular one! And it's my job here to pass it on to you.
Notes: $10+ cover, reservations recommended
Snug Harbor is a cool hot Jazz Club, bar and a bistro. You enter through a small corridor, on your right the bar, on your left the bistro. Through the bar you arrive in a square, cozy room with a small stage. You can also sit on the balcony. The wall opposing the balcony has large mirrors, so you can see the act clearly from there.
Every evening there are two sessions, one at 21.00 and one at 23.00. Prices about 12 - 15 dollars.
We enjoyed the performance of Charmaine Neville (almost every Monday night). Bought her cd too.
And the meals - Creole cuisine and also including hamburgers - are perfect too, normal prices. Beer $ 3.75
Dress Code: None