Snake and Jake’s: The Best Dive Bar in the World.

 

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Snake and Jake’s (image via snakeandjakes.com)

Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge is a legendary dive bar in Uptown New Orleans. Located just past the corner of Oak and Hilary, it can be easy to miss at first glance. There are no signs to look for, just an old wreath and a dive bar sinking into the ground. The only lighting in the bar is red Christmas lights.

Walking into Snake and Jake’s late at night is like descending into another world. The lighting is so dark, you could probably develop photos in the bathroom. It’s like you are drinking in your trippy neighbor’s post-apocalyptic garage.

You never know what will happen at Snake’s, but it always gets weird. A recent NOLA.com article describes the late-night vibe only found at a the five, “A man in a captain’s hat punched a ceiling tile. Someone’s dog fell asleep on a couch. Just after 1 a.m., three women were turned away for having fake IDs.” Snake and Jake’s sits in a strange, fuzzed out reality that is all it’s own.

The bar really starts getting busy after busy after 1 am. However, a NOLA.com piece about the smoking ban noted the ban’s effect on the bar’s hours, “At Snake and Jake’s, a bartender known as Bella Via said on a weeknight, she used to close the bar at 7:30 a.m., with more than a dozen patrons still parked on stools. Now, she regularly closes the bar at 5:30 a.m. instead, often with just a couple of patrons still lingering.”

Legendary pianist Dr. John used to live across the street from the dive. Anthony Bourdain is a fan. I have a theory that somehow everything in the universe is related to Snake and Jake’s. Even a co-founder of Bonnaroo started out as a bartender at Snake’s.

Snake and Jake’s is known for their concoction of Jäger and orange juice. It is a potent cocktail. They also sell Schlitz by the can.

If you ever ask anyone that’s spent a lot of time in NOLA about Snake’s, you often get that shock of recognition and fear. It’s like you brought up some seedy, undercover traumatic event.

In the City that Care Forgot, Snake and Jake’s is like the bar that sanity forgot. The weirdly comfortable vibe within the dive exists beyond pretense. In a gloriously strange place like NOLA, there is only one Snake and Jake’s.

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One Response to “Snake and Jake’s: The Best Dive Bar in the World.”

  1. John hanner Says:

    Snake and Jokes is creepy. Lots of small time drug dealers and old bitter frustrated rock wannabes.

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