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very good

37 Reviews
Place Score:

Type: Bar, Eatery

618 Frenchman St
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116-2002
United States

(504) 942-3731 | map

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 46
Reviews by loren01:
Photo of loren01
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

They have a pretty decent selection of beer here. I ordered a Rogue barleywine, which I normally love (I was surprised they had lots of Rogue) and i'm pretty sure something was wrong with the tap line or the beer itself, it was undrinkable...plastic tasting...yuck!! Everything else was pretty good however. I did stick to the bottled beer after the bad barleywine. They have a nice atmosphere for live music, saw a couple jazz bands on Fri and Sat evenings which were both great. Prices on bottled and tap beers seemed a bit high to me.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of kingjohnh
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of chartreusefiend
4.83/5  rDev +22.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Run to this stalwart destination. Be prepared to wait a bit for service, but with a vibe this amazing, this great a selection, and this much fun to be had you won't mind a bit of a wait. Great staff all around a must hit every time while in new orleans

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of WholeLottaTricks
3.32/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of schenectady
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of macon337
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of ronin926
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of PawPawPepperoni
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of champ103
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

OK, this is a hard one to grade. This is one of the premier hot spots on Frenchman St. The dirty dive vibe is a bit contrived. Certainly some good bands play here. Which adds to the feel. Though, for me, far from one of my favorite places to see some music.

When nobody is here the service is alright, but this place is a mad house at peak hours. Unless you want to see a specific band, avoid peak times.

There are 20 taps. Most are generic, though three different NOLA offerings. Also an outlier of Sorachi Ace. Other than that PBR and a bunch of other macros. No food, just booze and music. Take it for what its worth, but I like Spotted Cat, Three Muses, and Apple Barrel better. Even with less of a beer selection.

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Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

While my initial knowledge of the "chain" came through its beer reputation, the reason we headed here was for the brass band playing on a Tuesday night. Down on Frenchman Street where music can be sampled by just walking down the street, d.b.a. takes up the width of two buildings. One room has a long bar and a few tables and chairs, the other has a stage at the front, open dance floor and smaller bar towards the rear. Room is quite dark, exposed brick and wood with minimal lighting.

Beer list was extensive for the area. Drafts written and organized hap hazardly on the chalkboard above the bar. Stuck pretty much to the locals from NOLA, Abita and Bayou Teche. Bottle selections covered much from pale ales to Belgians. Service was quick and friendly despite the crowds.

Music is also one of the major draws with some of the better known and well respected local acts cumming in on a regular basis. Most shows are $5 and few are $10. Will definitely revisit when im back down in NOLA.

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Photo of nlmartin
2.49/5  rDev -37%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5

My wife and I kicked off an evening at D.B.A. The place was comfortable enough and a good escape from some of the quarter nonsense. I had a Hopitoulous to kick things off that sort of seemed off. My wife complained one of her beers was off a bit. Dirty lines? The bartender was busy serving her regulars. Hey I get it serve your regulars and they will continue to serve you. Dont leave the tourist 10+ minutes with empties. The place wasnt that busy at 5pm on a Thursday. The selection available was sort of middle of the road. A few locals, macros and scattered imports nothing to go out of my way for. We stayed over on the Espanades so this wasnt a hike would have repeated if service was better.

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Photo of brewtopia88
3.04/5  rDev -23%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5

d.b.a. has a nice craft beer selection, but the bartenders need better PR training. I ordered two beers that cost $15, and left $3 on the counter as a tip. 5 minutes later, I returned to the bar and asked for a glass of water. Bartender gave me a dirty look and said she would take care of her tipping customers first. When I explained that I did leave her a tip, she said she "would take my word for it." She did not apologize until she saw me talking to the manager. This behavior is unacceptable in an upscale, craft beer bar. I've sent so many people to d.b.a. over the years and have tried to support them, and now I have to rethink this.

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Photo of HopstothemaxMD
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

12/2/2010. I was recommended this place by a local server with the fact that we were looking for a place away from the commotion of Bourbon Street. D.B.A. is just outside the French Quarter but its only a few blocks walk from most of the nightlife attractions.

Being my first time in New Orleans, I enjoyed the experience of D.B.A. as it was a place offering 200+ micro and major US/World craft brews and had live blues/bluegrass/jazz music. There was a $5 dollar cover, but I am not sure whether it is every night or just because a band was playing.

A few points on the service of the place; I did have to wait an extended period of time when the keg kicked, but the bartender apologized for the wait and bought the beer for me.

All in all, D.B.A. is a place off the "beaten-path" offering a music scene and eclectic beer selection for those looking to escape Bourbon Street at least for a little while.

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Photo of dude
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

01/30/10 our bartender at another locale recommended Frenchman St. to see krewe du vieux to kick off the pre-Mardi Gras festivities. What a fantastic night! Great locals hangout and the parade scene was high positive energy. As for the bar I had abita amber and andygator only, but the beer selection was large - menu board and scene reminded me of Philly's Standard Tap. Highly recommended non-touristy way to experience the city night-life. The Spotted Cat (great jazz place) and Apple Barrel are about 18 drunken steps across the street so its a prime location.

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Photo of saztheorybook
2.88/5  rDev -27.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

For a place called "Drink Better Alcohol" I was fairly unimpressed. Their fairly wide selection was mostly int'l macros and stuff available at any store in the area. I got Spaten's Optimator which the bartender was kind enough to pour for me in somewhat appropriate glassware, but even though it had the etched fill line, he gave it to me completely headless. I wish I'd asked to pour it myself. The next couple of pints I ordered of Dead Guy were poured to the brim although I had asked for head.

It was also incredibly smoky, which is par for the course in a NOLA bar but that doesn't make it alright.

Basically, if you're there for live music, you can get good beer there, too. In fact, it's the venue I'd choose for alcohol. But if you want good beer first and foremost, you're better off elswhere.

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Photo of LabBrewer
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

There is a lot to like about this bar. It is just a few blocks from Burbon St. and the French Quarter, but the atmosphere is completely different. This place is not filled with the crowd you would typically find on Burbon St.

Both the tap beer and bottle beer selection here is very nice. Lots of imports and lots of good domestic beers. I had the Rogue Chocolate Stout and it was delicious. A number of Belgians were on tap as well as a couple German beers.

Downside was that we had a Paulaner Hefe and it was really, really buttery. It made me wonder when the last time they cleaned the lines. But I didn't pick it up at all in my Rogue or a Bigfoot, so maybe it was just bad luck. As far as tap beer goes, this is the place I would head to in the French Quarter.

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Photo of unclejimbay
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited 3/20/09, (uploaded the sign photo)

This place is the place to disappear to after you discover Bourbon Street is Disney world of New Orleans. I have been to New Orleans many times, and this was one of the best bars I have visited to date. Great beer, great service, great vibe, great walk from the French Quarter (about 15 minutes), and GREAT MUSIC!!!

I visited dba with my wife on the afternoon of 3/20/09. It was an interesting walk to a part "on the other side of the Quarter". It is located in a bohemian type Nawlins residential neighborhood. We passed a large local crawfish boil on the way, with a long line of locals looked like they were dressed in their thrift store finest. It was a cool vibe and walk.

Good selection of Belgian brews and rare type bottles, and about 40 or so beers on tap - some I have never seen on tap. I tried 2 new Tripels and a Celis white which I have never seen in my FLA area. The chic bartenders were helpful, knowledgeable, and served all our beers in the appropriate glassware. The prices were very reasonable and the selection was impressive.

We listened to an awesome local flavor jazz band - which quenched my desire to find some intimate live music (www.hotclubofneworleans.com). These guys were amazing and shined some new light on the clarinet in a way I have never heard. We also got to see a couple dance to the vibe doing the "Lindy Hop" and it was a picturesque scene. It was an afternoon moment that felt exactly like "real" Nawlins should! We watched the crowd grow until early evening and then skipped out before it got to packed!

Some of the other noteworthy sides at dba;
A cool "makeout" couch next to the Golden Tee game.
Funky little private window rooms to sit and observe side walk scenery.
Central horse shoe bar, wall tables, dance floor, and intimate stage.
Full beer listed above bar on easy to read chalk boards.
A hilarious hand written sign that read "No Bud or Bud Lt, No Coors or Coors Lt, No Miller Lite, Get Over It!"

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Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place was a bit of a hike, since I was staying on the other side of the French Quarter. At least I got to see some of the more colourful parts of that part of the city while walking to my destination. We arrived mid-afternoon and only one side of the bar was open. It looked like the other side was set up for live entertainment that likely wasn't going to start for a few hours still. We grabbed seats at the bar and it took a few minutes to go through all the draft and bottle options before making a decision.

There was a good combination of domestic craft beer and import offerings (mostly Belgian on draft, but more varied in bottles). It seems that things rotate on a fairly regular basis, so check the website to see what's currently available. Service was good - attentive without being obtrusive - meaning that I wasn't pestered by the bartender, but never had an empty glass in front of me. Prices were decent on pints, a little higher for bottles, but certainly not out of reason.

I'd definitely stop in here again on a future trip to NO. I bet the place has a completely different vibe when it fills up and the entertainment starts.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.64/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

The New Orleans d.b.a. seemed north of the most tour-isty parts of Bourbon Street, and was maybe a 15 minute walk from Harrah's/Riverwalk. The inside is a bit dark, and appears to be living a double-life, trying to cater to both the small beer geek-ery present in New Orleans while simultaneously competing with non-beer-savvy bars down the road with live music and drink specials.

I visited with Flyer during non-peak hours, early on a weekday. The beer-list was a decent size but not too exciting. It was almost exactly the same as two other beer bars I went to during my visit (Bulldog and Delachaise), which seemed to indicate that these three bars all bought all craft/imports their local distributor carried, but that there is a lot of room for distribution growth for other craft/import brands in this city.

Wendy, our bartender, was friendly and demonstrated some knowledge and enthusiasm for beer. The three beers I had were all from bottles, and the glassware available at the bar resulted in some strange pairings - I had an IPA, a pale ale, and a brune, all from a Schneider Weisse branded weizen glass.

They did have a nice selection of other liquor (scotch, cognac and the like), came off as caring about beer, and Wendy made us feel welcome and well-taken care of. From what I saw, this place offered the best home-away-from-home for beer geeks visiting New Orleans.

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Photo of Flyer
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5

I visited three craft beer-oriented bars in New Orleans, and all had virtually the same menu. Only d.b.a. had a bartendress knowledgable enough to explain that these were the best to be had from the local distrbutor. Wendy did know her beer. The NOLA d.b.a. is kind of a pale cousin to the one in Manhattan, but given the limitations of operating a good beer bar in the south,we'll excuse that. The atmosphere is beery, unpretentious and woody, with chalkboards displaying the menu. Very limited selection of rarities (such as a Finnish stout). But good beer only needs a toehold to eventually flouirsh, and in NOLA that toehold is d.d.a. Worth going out of your way for.

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Photo of kensuthe
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Atmosphere - Located on Frenchman Street in the Faubourg Marigny, d.b.a. New Orleans has a more laid back feel than the nearby French Quarter. There are several other bars and music clubs located within a few blocks, so there can be a good flow of people. Venture too far away, though, and you may not feel so comfortable, especially if you are completely unfamiliar with the area. Earlier in the evening the bar is quiet enough for easy conversation or for solitary relaxation, and as the night goes on you can expect to hear some good live music that gives the place a vibrant feeling. We went there for the beer, but they also offer a nice mix of wine and spirits if the feeling grabs you. The bar is in the middle of the building, with the stage in the left side of the building and limited seating on the right side and towards the rear. There are also a few booth window seats at the front of the bar looking out onto Frenchman Street, so come with a few close friends and watch the human parade while you have a good time. There is sometimes a cover charge at the door later in the evening if there is a musical act, so just come earlier and appreciate the feel. One thing to note, though: if you leave the building, expect to pay cover to get back in.

Quality - The draft beers that I sampled were all fresh and clean, as were the glasses. The place is generally cleaner than I would have expected. There is a limited amount of glassware, however, so don't be surprised if you wind up stuck with a pint glass when you wanted a goblet. The bottled beers that we had were fresh as well, and seemed to have been stored properly. From what I could tell, there would be a decent amount of turnover time on most of the kegs, so I would expect a fresh beer from their taps.

Service - The service can be a little slower than you might expect based on other bars with a similar number of patrons, but I think that a high volume of mixed drink orders may be the culprit. The staff serves patrons on both sides of the bar - in the music area on the left side and the drinking area on the right side - so you may have to wait for a few minutes if there are large orders at other parts of the bar. If the place is packed, don't expect enough time for casual chat, as there can be a continuous flow of new orders to be filled. In my experience, the pours from the taps are good, but you might get a poor pour from a bottle if the bartender is in a hurry. Not a deal breaker, but it can be frustrating when you could make a better pour yourself. If you want a more relaxed feel and better service, show up earlier in the evening.

Selection - The draft and bottle selections are displayed prominently above the bar on chalkboards, with prices included. There are around 20 taps, and the selection and styles seem to rotate through frequently. There were offerings from Rogue, Abita, Paulaner, Unibroue, Anchor and others the last time we went. The bottle selection may not be as extensive as a few other places in the region, but there are plenty of quality beers to choose from across the range of styles. Again, the glassware can be limited, so keep that in mind when ordering if it will bother you.

Value - There are some good prices to be found here, and the pricing doesn't vary too widely between similar beers in the same style. Drinking draft is still a better bet than buying bottle, but the prices shouldn't prevent you from choosing what you're in the mood for. I don't think that food is served here, but you should be able to find something to eat nearby. If you're in New Orleans and you want to hit up a good beer bar, the selection and the atmosphere make d.b.a. a good value choice.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.56/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

More proof that I am becoming a Blithering Idiot, sorry Ev. I kind of stumbled upon this place, despite having a hand-drawn map, courtesy of my Pottstown homegirl. She even told me not to deviate from her directions! I am such a sod! How do you get lost with directions and a map?!?

They had a hefty $10. cover, but I really wanted in, especially given my warm trek over and the moment of panic when I realized that I was off-course. The bar was in the center of the place and did a 360-degree wraparound with the stage on the far left side and the lavatories all of the way aft on the right side, past the Make-Out Couch. Hey, kids, this was Nawlins, remember? In the center of the bar was the back bar with eleven chalkboards suspended in the overhead, detailing everything from bottles and drafts to wine and spirits.

Upon entering, I was approached by Jonathan and Alisa, a couple who was originally from New Jersey. Later, we were joined by Mike, a Coastie (USCG) from Boston. It quickly turned into old home week on a scale that I had not experienced since leaving SoCal in 1997. Our clique attracted more Easterners and soon, we had our own party that was sucking in the locals. One such was the Mardi Gras Bride, a beauty in solid white, holding a white Mardi Gras mask with a white plume, wearing a candy bracelet as her garter belt. Yow! Jon showed amazing restraint in not partaking and I only wished that she had extended the offer to yours truly. After all, I am always up for a snack, but I think that my lolling tongue and drooling mouth may have put her off.

More proof that this was Nawlins and not Detroit - the snugs here were NOT in the spirit of snugs. Here, they featured Show 'n' Tell, Slap 'n' Tickle, Doctor, and several other childhood games being conducted on a very adult level, all in a fishbowl environment. Hmmmm. Good thing I was 21 x 2.

Final thoughts: Great selection, great ambiance, great company. Mom? Definitely NOT. Me? Another high recommendation.

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d.b.a. in New Orleans, LA
89 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.