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Cooter Brown's Tavern & Oyster Bar

Not Rated.
Cooter Brown's Tavern & Oyster BarCooter Brown's Tavern & Oyster Bar
BA SCORE
88
very good

33 Ratings
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: n/a
Taps: 42
Bottles: 350
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

509 S Carrolltown Ave
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70118-1005
United States
phone: (504) 886-9104

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mltobin:
Photo of mltobin
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I paid a visit to Cooter Brown`s while in New Orleans on a trip back in the summer of 2004.

Cooter Browns has the largest selection of beers of any bar in New Orleans, so it is a a sure thing to make a stop here when in town.
A big list, with a lot of macros, local beers, and a decent selection of european beers.
The atmosphere is classic New Orleans, very laid back and casual, and solid bar food. The staff is friendly and accoomodating. This is not the place to have a romantic date, but a place to throw back some pints with the buds and relax in a fun casual environment. Prices are reasonable.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jmryan8
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of WholeLottaTricks
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of Canada_Dan
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Robyn
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of PawPawPepperoni
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of sd123
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Qdiver
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of TOJO12
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of rev_jimmy
4.76/5  rDev +23%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

I used to work just around the corner in the river bend area. Cooter Brown's is a great place to have a beer(s) and some local food. It is at the opposite end of St. Charles, away from the tourists in the French Quarter. My favorite time to go there was mid-day on a week day. Quiet, relaxing place to have drink. Cooter Brown's has huge selection of beers in bottles and quite a few on tap. I am getting home sick just thinking about it.

Photo of mcintire78
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Cooter Brown's has probably the best beer selection in NOLA (although I never did make it out to d.b.a. so I'm not quite sure).

It's in what I think is still called the "Black Pearl" neighborhood to the west of the city, past Audubon Park where the river bends at S Carrollton Street.

There are outside tables which seem to be the most popular, and not surprisingly so, as the inside is kind of dank and dirty (like most bars in NOLA). The tables also share residence with a Thai or Indian restaurant next door, although I didn't see anyone eating anything more interesting than Po' Boys and fried foods.

Moving inside, the food area is to the right, the bar is to the left, and there are communal tables in the center. There's another back bar to the back right, and there are some video poker machines back there as well (because nothing's better than drinking and gambling - and there's a pool table too, just-in-case-in you're a hustlin' pool shark. AIIIYEEE!). Some things I noted about the decor and the amenities: Tin ceiling above the main bar, tile floor, cute historic characters carved in wood hanging about, smoking, and smelly bathroom with a trough (mens, not women's - although I would never be surprised in NOLA ;)

The beer selection is impressive, although I was concerned about the freshness of the bottles. The coolers run a decent number of feet and they're pretty well packed. They've got beers I've never had, and they've got lots of classics - I can't even estimate a number - it's a lot. Draft taps number 34 to 36 out of the 40 because they've got some mixed drink things on a few.
The line-up as I saw it was:
7 from Abita (but of course!)
2 from Lazy Magnolia in Mississippi (LA's slower cousin)
2 from Covington (just above Lake Pontchartrain)
2 from Tin Roof
3 from NOLA Brewing
and
LA31
with the rest made up of fairly common domestics and imports.

The food is mainly sandwiches and fried foods, although they do boiled crawfish on weekends (not to be missed!). Burgers run $7.25 to $9.75; their Muffaletta (a big thing in NOLA) is $16, or $8.50 for a half; and a shrimp Po' Boy is within average bounds at $10.25. The Fried Seafood Platters with fries and garlic bread round it all out at $12 to $14 depending on what you're interested in (i.e. Catfish is just $12, Oysters are $14).

Photo of brewskifan55
4/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

After a leisurely ride on the St. Charles streetcar, hop off at Riverbend for beer heaven with great food. Cooter Brown's is usually crammed with happy customers, quaffing brews from around the world and munching on burgers and onion rings, fried to perfection.

If the weather is nice, you can sit outside. There are picnic tables all around. Inside, flat screens abound with sports aplenty.

Pick up a beer menu and peruse the many flavors, either on tap or bottle and can. I took mine home to study the flavors and styles I was unfamiliar with. CB is a place to educate your palette. You can ask for samples if you're curious. The bartenders are very helpful.

After we placed our food order with the cook and his helper, it didn't take too long for our number to be called. Killer onion rings!

Riverbend is one of my favorite areas in New Orleans. The Camellia Grill is about a block away from Cooter's. The feel is so laid back around here. Time, nature and ambiance collide to provide the perfect backdrop for beer karma.

Hop off the streetcar, hang a left and indulge.

Photo of tonytheobald
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A sense of humor pervades this gem. Since 1977, Cooter Brown's has been a popular watering hole, grill and oyster bar. Celebrity Hall Of Foam and Beersoleum - "Come have a beer with over 100 of your all-time favorite deceased celebrities". This is a beer bar (400+ different kinds of beer, 350 of which are imports and 42 of which are on draft), sports bar(17 flat screens and 2 eight foot drop downs) & oyster paradise. Raw oysters from the oyster Bar, boiled Crawfish (weekends), boiled shrimp and great tavern food including Po Boys, seafood, New Orleans sandwiches & specialties .

Photo of 86sportster883
4/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

While in New Orleans for the 2011 Jazz fest, I took a ride on the Saint Charles St. trolley to visit Cooter Brown's. I had two goals: get out of the French Quarter for some decent beer, and get some of the best raw oysters in the area. I wasn't dissapointed with either.

With about 40 taps, Cooter Brown's offers a better than average, quality selection of local, American craft and foreign beers to include: practically everything from Abita, the NOLA Blond & Hopitoulis, Ponshartrain Pilsener, LA 31, Anchor Steam, Brooklyn Lager, Sierra Nevada Pale, Jefferson Stout, Guiness, Bass, Harp, Hoegaarden, Chimay, Paulaner Hefe and Spaten's Oktoberfest & Optimator, among others. Meanwhile the bottled beer list was an extensive offering of beers from around the world including everything you would expect and more than a few pleasant surprises. In addition, the ersters were huge and delicious.

If in New Orleans I would highly recommend getting out of the Quarter and heading uptown to CB's for some good beer & oysters at reasonable prices.

Photo of redbird
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This was cool place, mainly a sports bar with tons of TVs and no table service. Gotta get your own beer and food. We really just went here for crawfish and football, but it ended up being good for beer as well.

They have about 30 taps and quite a few bottles. Good selection of locals (Abita and NOLA) as well as Lazy Magnolia and one Stone tap. I was also happy to buy a Sierra Nevada 30th Grand Cru for the table.

Food was a pleasant surprise. Didn't get any raw oysters and they were out of crawfish, but the fried oysters were fantastic and the shrimp and catfish were good too.

Photo of drpimento
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Went to this place on the St. Charles trolley on a sunny afternoon. Only a few people in the place when we got there. Fairly dark and roadhouse like atmosphere. Lots of games, TVs, tables, bar space, food area, etc. They had several banks of taps with a decent selection of local, regional, macros and imports. I shared a 'gator sausage sandwich and it was ok. Most of the beer was pretty good except one line apparently hadn't been properly handled and was totally dominated by bleach. Maybe it was the glass. Prices and service were reasonable.

Photo of Tinfoilrcr
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Was at Cooter Brown's on Wednesday. Ordered some food and a couple of pints.

A- The bar is very dark and smoky, with rows upon rows of long tables. Lots of TVs, would likely be a great place to watch Football or baseball games.

S- Food service was slow and inattentive, beer service not much better.

Sel- decent selection (about 15-20 taps), with all of the NOLA brews, some other locals, and a good bottle selection at first glance. However, upon closer look it appeared that a lot of the bottles had been there a while. The friend I was with confirmed this and indicated he has previously been served a bottle that had been past its "best by date"

F- The burgers, chili cheese fries, and Motz sticks were very good. Not as good as the Camellia grille just down the road, but none-the-less very good.

V- Like so much in this city the prices are very reasonable ( atleast when compared to the NYC prices I am used to).

Overall - not a great "beer bar" in terms of selection and freshness. But a generally good bar with good food and a decent selection.

Photo of woodychandler
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I cannot feature how I missed this place on my previous visit to town! A long, street-facing front with outdoor seating under a long overhang with an entry near the corner. Entering, the oyster bar cum food production was to the right with the bar area to the left. The inverted "S"-shaped, dark wood bar ran along the left side with 4 banks of 10 taps (40 total). A 2 door bank of coolers ran down the left wall behind the bar. Seating was a sea of marble-topped tables with some upholstered, upright (booths) against the far wall. The painted bas-relief caricatures of celebrities holding beers. Lots of monitors throughout. Lavs off to right of bar area just before double old west doors. The oyster po' boy was fabulous!

Photo of kensuthe
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Cooter Browns is located in the Riverbend area of Uptown New Orleans, right near the corner of Carrollton Ave and St. Charles Ave. It is close to Tulane University, Loyola University, Audubon Park, and the St. Charles streetcar line. It is also right across the train tracks from the Mississippi River, but don't expect a scenic venue. Apparently it was a really good beer bar at some point before the hurricanes, and while it's still a good place to go to pick up a beer, it does not compare well to good beer bars in other parts of the country.

Atmosphere - This place is primarily a sports bar, with TVs lining the upper part of much of the back wall and a few of the supports in the main bar area. The bar is a little bit dingy and a little cramped inside, even though there is a lot of floor space. There is a main bar with taps near the front of the place, a bar that connects to that main bar along one side of the room that is lined with coolers, and a back bar with taps and coolers that is around the corner from the jukebox and video poker machines. However, you can only order at the main bar these days, and you will have to wait a fair bit if the place is buys. There is a kitchen that puts out pretty decent bar fare, and there are tables and a few booths lined up throughout the front and back rooms to sit and eat or drink at. The tables and chairs have seen better days, and there are probably too many in the place which makes it feel crowded and closed in even during slow times. There are some pool tables in a back corner as well, and the jukebox has a decent selection of music.

Quality - Don't expect to find the freshest of kegs or the widest selection of glassware here, and don't be surprised if your beer is less carbonated or cloudier than it should be. Most of the bottles we've had from the place have been okay, but there have been one or two times where you could just tell that the bottle had been sitting there for quite a long time and the beer was past its prime.

Service - The bartenders can easily get swamped during busy times, and since only the main bar is open for business you can find yourself waiting for quite a while to get a beer. The bartenders can seem a little rushed and be a little standoffish at times, which doesn't do anything to improve the atmosphere of the place. If you're not drinking out a beer that's served out of a pint glass then you'll have to ask for another type of glass, and they may or may not be able to provide what you want. The service tends to gravitate towards buying one drink or round at a time, and running a tab can be problematic if the place gets too busy.

Selection - There is a decent selection of bottled beers from Germany, the UK, Belgium, other parts of Europe, and domestic breweries, and you will occasionally find some things available here that are otherwise extremely hard to find in the region. The coolers have not been close to filled the last several times we have gone, and the variety of beers available seems to be less than what it was even a year ago. The draft selection is around 10 to 20 taps on the front bar, but it is not uncommon for certain taps to run dry and be unavailable, especially during a big sporting event.

Food - The kitchen area serves up some tasty bar food ranging from cheese fries and onion rings to philly sandwiches and po-boys. There are a few non-meat selections as well, but don't expect the kitchen to fit in to your diet plan. It does not take an extraordinarily long time for orders to come up, but it is also not an extremely fast turnover. You get a number, and you can look at a display near the side bar to see which orders are up at a given time. The kitchen closes earlier than the bar, so keep that in mind if it's late and you're getting the munchies.

Value - The prices range from cheap to costly, depending on what you're looking for. You could definitely save by buying at a store and bringing it home, but then you don't get the experience of going out to the bar. Many of the draft beers here are not a better deal than their bottled versions, which is somewhat contrary to similar practices at similar establishments in the region. The food is a little bit pricey, but it's not more expensive than most other Uptown establishments that are nearby and open late.

If you're doing Uptown, give Cooter Brown's a shot. After all, the more good beer people drink, the more good beer they will stock.

Photo of Butch
2.33/5  rDev -39.8%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Service was decent even after the lady taking orders tried to rip me off. I don't think it was out of malice, just oversight, but she argued with me in front of a dozen other customers about the size of the bill I gave her (I know exactly because we'd just left the ATM).

The beer selection was great, but served in frozen glasses. The food was poor, but we only had a couple of burgers and fries so YMMV. The place was trashy, but I can get past that, because it was a bar. It was also completely filled with smoke, but again, it's a bar.

Overall, I'll skip it next time I'm in town. There are better, cleaner places in NOLA for good beer.

Photo of Beerbuddha
3.6/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

OK so I've been here before many times and just went back so I thought it was time to do a review. The place is pretty cool. Kind of trashy looking but a nice beer selection. People say they have the biggest beer selection in town but I'm not so sure. I think the Bulldog may have them beat. The food was pretty kick ass we had some oysters. I had a Abita Amber which tasted a bit off. I know that particular beer sells well so I pretty sure it wasn't an old keg but I do question the draught lines. Overall a great place for college kids looking for good beer. But I'm no longer a college kid so hmmm.

Photo of ShrLSU
3.33/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I've been to this place a few times and I guess it mirrors the status of beer in Louisiana which is sparse and generic. Cooter Brown's is not what it once was. However, it is still the best place for a beer nut to grab a brew when down in NOLA.

The atmosphere is a bit crowded and dingy. It kind of reminds me of an old west saloon with the swinging doors. Its got lots of room as a whole, but the area is cluttered with tables and chairs.

The quality is pretty good, however the around 10 or 12 coolers that they have are only half full to empty.

The staff is very attentive, but lacking the necessary beer knowledge to be considered an elite beer bar. The wait for a beer isn't too long but you can only order from one bar and on a crowded night it makes for a mess given that there isn't much room due to the tables and chairs lining the middle of the bar.

The selection is good. It's the best you can get in NOLA that's for sure. They have good selection of imports but the belgian selection is lacking. They have a decent amount of taps but lately the good ones have been tapped out. Rogue chocolate, Unibroue Maudite, Abita Seasonal, Spaten, Anchor, Paulner, are just a few that are on tap there.

The food is great. A nice selection of greasy sandwiches and fried appetizers to soak up all that alcohol after a while.

Overall its a solid place to spend the night drinking with friends, as long as the bar isn't depleted of inventory there are some good beers to be had there.

Photo of dlintern
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

As far as New Orleans bars, this has one of the largest selections in bottles and on draft. They claim to have something like 400 bottles, which I think is slightly high, but you can find some nice Belgians and craft beers that other local bars do not carry. It is a great sports bar with enough TVs that you can watch every March Madness game at the same time, and it is a rowdy crowd for LSU and Saints games. The food is good, sort of standard bar food kicked up a notch, I especially like the shrimp and oyster po-boy and the burger topped with pastrami.

Having so much selection in a town that does not fully appreciate craft beer has become a problem for their beers. I have had beers here on draft that do not get much circulation and you can taste it. I don’t know if the beer has gone bad or if the lines need to be cleaned, but either way I stick to the standard fair if I’m getting the pitcher for the table. The bottles can be very old as well since they have so many choices. After the storm the coolers were packed, with the same bottles that were there before the storm. Some of these beers were old to begin with and sitting that long around 90-100 degrees in the light (glass door coolers) for 3 straight months did not help them out. Especially during football season and carnival season when I spend a lot of time here, friends would ask me if I like this or that obscure beer, some I had, some I hadn’t, but for the most part they were skunky, badly sour (I do love brettanomyces and lactobacillus), or just plain funky. These people were sitting there thinking this is what the beer is supposed to taste like, completely turning them off to the beer and making them much less adventurous in their next pick from the bar. I understand we all lost a lot from Katrina, but any good bar took their insurance losses and put their pre-k beer in a clearly labeled ice chest and sold it off for a buck a piece sometimes cheaper no matter what it was to those willing to drink it.

That being said, if you stick to most American Craft bottles or fairly well known imports you there are some good beers here and you should be safe. They usually have 7 or 8 rouge bombers that you can never go wrong with. Foods good and it is a great place to watch any sort of game, they seem to have every sport covered with some cable package including rugby and hockey, just stay away from anything that you don’t think is fresh.

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Cooter Brown's Tavern & Oyster Bar in New Orleans, LA
88 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.