Bar Tonique is a revered spot for craft cocktails with housemade ingredients. The bar is a cozy, brick-walled space with a fireplace. Open everyday from 12pm - 2am, it's a neighborhood gem in a city that doesn't lack options.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Travis Platt Contributing writer
A haunt…yes, something that occurs in the old streets of New Orleans quite often. For believers, it’s the legends of past spirits watching from the candlelit windows of many of the mysterious second stories. For those with a more practical mindset, those who are only visiting, a haunt is the beckoning of the Big Easy once you leave. It will occupy your thoughts, insisting you return as soon as possible.
For a New Orleanian, a haunt is a term that fits into daily life. It refers to a place to disappear when the humid sun retires, a cavern where you can reconnect with the roots of the city and plant the mind in the fresh soil of the divine culture of the city. And there just might not be a better haunt than Bar Tonique.
Whether you’re passing through or you call New Orleans your home, Bar Tonique is a daily sabbatical that makes it the definition of a haunt in our eyes, a prime example of how authentic to the bone this city can be.
Here, the mental tally of drinks can easily be lost, as a constant stream of the most classic forms of drinking occurs, one after another. This is by all standards the definition of a neighborhood bar. By now, it’s clear that CYTIES strives to find the most exclusive cocktails available. But any reader should be aware that before the team ever aims in those directions, we find a burrow like Bar Tonique to do what everyone in NOLA does quite often: knock back ice cold beers with a side of warm dialogue.
The craft cocktails here are as smooth as an impromptu bassline and stand as a true testament to how drinking should be enjoyed in the gentle, slow, and easygoing way of life in Louisiana. Trying hard doesn’t exist here, and if someone is, the exit can easily be found. The term “cool cat” rings from wall to wall and might just have been birthed within the brick-laden hollow. The locals and routine visitors fit the label well — understandable, as even Harry Connick, Jr., himself becomes just another neighbor when sliding in for a few drinks.
Dropping from the center of the ceiling is the heart of this establishment, a lampshade chandelier shining its light on the bar’s enameled wood. Lit up is a handwritten menu of damn fine beers and a spirit list that will keep you grinning to all hours of the night. After a few drinks, the air inside feels like welcoming arms, and you’ll quickly find yourself searching for a reason why anyone would ever leave. As we write these words, we realize it’s a reason we’ll never be able to find.
Whether you’re passing through or you call New Orleans your home, Bar Tonique is a daily sabbatical that makes it the definition of a haunt in our eyes, a prime example of how authentic to the bone this city can be. And, interestingly enough, Bar Tonique has also taken on that other definition of a haunt: It’s here at this very neighborhood bar that patrons become the spirits returning every night, haunting the bar itself, devoted to one of the best joints in town, forever raising a glass to the ghosts that sat on the stools before them.
Monday: $5 Pimm’s Cups | Tuesday: Whiskey Flights
Wednesday: $5 Moscow Mules | Thursday: $5 Caipirinhas
Friday: $5 Punch Special | Saturday: $5 Bacon Bloody Marys
Sunday: $5 Mai Tais