Thursday, May 27, 2010

A haven for dogs and their people: The Bridge Lounge

Despite the obvious fact that there are dog lovers all over the city of New Orleans (and the world for that matter), there are depressingly few places we can take them.  Sure, we can take them to the park or to the levee, but how many establishments out there are legitimate fans of man's best friend?

There is one bar I know of that actually encourages patrons to bring along their four-legged pals...the Bridge Lounge.

Located on the corner of Erato and Magazine Streets, the Bridge Lounge is unassuming and casual with sparse decor and low lights. A long, granite bar stretches along the right wall while black tables and chairs are scattered throughout the remaining space.  Also, perhaps to display the bar owner's passion for pooches, framed black & white photographs of dogs adorn the walls wherever there's available space. 

For those dog owners concerned about accidents, the bar floor is painted concrete, so you'll have no worries and easy cleanup of any possible mishaps.  Additionally, with the usual sweltering summers we experience, the stone floor and bar only make for cooler temperatures, a definite plus for any overheated customer.

I had already heard rumors of the delicious mojitos featured at the Bridge Lounge, but I was in the mood for something a little different.  From several large chalkboard menus I selected one of their signature drinks, the Porch Swing, doesn't that sound refreshing on a hot summer day?

Well, it certainly was!  Described as a "homemade lemonade and ginger ale mix," the Porch Swing offered a crisp and cooling experience with muddled cucumber, Pims, lemonade, Hendrix Gin and ginger ale.  After finishing this tall refreshment, I could see myself sitting on a porch swing watching the world go by...which could either mean I'm insane or simply feeling the effects of my sublime bartender's heavy handed pour.

When I drained the last delicious drops from my icy glass, the bartender (and soon to be owner) Max Chesney, graciously suggested I try another special cocktail from the chalkboard called St. Germain's Infirmary.  Although this might sound dangerous considering my earlier hallucinations, I decided to take the risk.  At any rate, I knew a concoction prepared with St.Germain's Elderflower Liquor could only be another fantastic drinking experience.

Made with peach bitters, house made sour mix, St. Germain Elderflower Liquor, a splash of orange juice and some New Amsterdam Gin, the St. Germaine's Infirmary packed an herbal infused punch along with the sweet taste of summer fruit. While sipping, I turned around on my bar stool and watched as a sudden, summertime downpour drove more customers inside.  Someone once told me it was good luck to see rain and sunshine at the same time and I couldn't help but feel fortuitous while relaxing at the Bridge Lounge.

The rain stopped almost as suddenly as it started and I was forced to take my leave.  Unfortunately, I had to leave my dog Pippin at home and he desperately needed to go for a walk since I'd been gone most of the day.  Next time, I'll just bring my sweet shih-tzu with me and we can both take our ease together.  Maybe Max will even hang Pippin's photograph on the doggie wall of fame?  I will have to go back for a few more drinks and find out...

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