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Balcony Bar & Cafe

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Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
80
good

11 Ratings
Ratings: 11
Reviews: 10
rAvg: 3.05
pDev: 18.36%
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1104 Harmony St
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70115-2317
United States
phone: (504) 894-8888

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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 11 | Reviews: 10 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sd123
sd123

Louisiana

3/5  rDev -1.6%

06-28-2014 02:02:07 | More by sd123
Photo of Nurse-Laurie
Nurse-Laurie


1.55/5  rDev -49.2%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | $

We live in the neighborhood,2 blocks from the Balcony Bar. Usually we go to the Bulldog but because of the Balcony Bar's Non-Smoking Policy we decide to go here on 12-1-2012 around 11;50PM. There was a man outside who had been thrown out of the Bulldog many times. His name is "Richard" & we arched as he begged for drinks & inappropriately touched women. We sat in a Booth & continued to watch as her preyed on women when their boyfriends left to get a beer or go to the bathroom. We reported it to the bartenders, security, & even to a guy who was now working at the Balcony who had worked at he Bull bog. My friend even sat in a booth with 21 year old women who we observed him molesting. She sat there to get him to stop touching this young woman. The woman thanked her. She said she didn't know what to do. We reported this to everyone we could. No one seemed willing to evict "Richard".

"Richard" also touched my friend in inappropriate ways as well as at least 3 other women. The dark haired female bartender who could not "grasp" the order for a Purple Haze mixed with an Andygator came to our booth to defend "Richard",a homeless alcoholic, as the "King" of Magazine Street. Keep in Mind that the Bulldog will not let him in their door & this was not our first encounter with "Richard". I refused to continue this conversation. We left after she incoherently tried to explain "Richard's" place in their bar.We live blocks away but we will never return. Ironically it was the female bartender defending "Richard". We spoke to Security, a guy who works there who previously worked at the Bulldog, & the other female bartender.In the end, Richard, the homeless man who was assaulting women won out. So women ,be careful. Don't go here or you will be victimized. Just ask anyone at the Bulldog, less than a block away about this guy & the way he begs for drinks & fondles young women.
We will never return. Back to The Bulldog or the Avenue Pub if we want to try a new Draft Beer...Smoking & All...

12-02-2012 09:37:46 | More by Nurse-Laurie
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$

I wish I could say I that I was more impressed with The Balcony Bar (& Cafe) than I was, but I wasn't.

Let's start with the good stuff:
- it's a nice looking building
- it's got a balcony (the only bar I saw with one outside of those in the Quarter)
- sitting on the balcony, Magazine Street at least offers some entertainment (i.e. people watching)
- it's just up the street from The Bulldog
- 50 taps downstairs, 20 taps upstairs
- nice copper-topped bar downstairs
- pool tables (if that's your thing)
- it's less "frat" than many places
- for non-BeerAdvocates there are cheap drink specials

Drawbacks:
- the upstairs and downstairs have a kind of "Jeckyll & Hyde" disparity...
- the downstairs just lacks atmosphere (but I'm not sure why because it's got lots of potential with a nice bar and lots of wood). The combination of the two areas leaves it with an atmosphere rating of 3 out of 5.
- the 50 taps are OK but not great (some non-stellar performers: cider, PBR, Bud, Bud Light, Harp, Guinness, Bass)
- old beer (on the less popular taps)
- nothing really in bottles
- smells kind of smoky

Beyond that it's an OK place to grab a beer. I'd much rather relax here than drink a beer from a plastic cup in some hole in the wall in the Quarter. Regular pub grub, but there are some vegetarian options and not everything is fried. It's worth checking out the balcony if you can get a seat, otherwise head over to The Bulldog.

04-30-2012 14:00:13 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of seriouslycody
seriouslycody

Louisiana

2.7/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$

Go to the Balcony to get drunk and you wont be disappointed. Large, unkempt, stinky and cheap, the Balcony Bar is typical of New Orleans dives in the area.

Draft quality is terrible. I've had more than a few stale and flat Abitas here, but somehow I always fool myself into thinking my next visit will be different. Very, very smoky with obnoxiously loud music, but not a terrible place to catch the game. Balcony is good for people watching and location is within walking distance to other fun spots on Magazine.

Pub grub ranges from chicken caesar pita to pizza, and it all kind of tastes like cigarettes. If you're feeling spunky and wind up here at 4 am, aim for the spinach dip;it's the best thing on the menu imo.

Overall assessment: Come here on a breezy evening, get a balcony spot and get some $2 Red Stripes with your bros.

08-31-2010 19:43:10 | More by seriouslycody
Photo of Tinfoilrcr
Tinfoilrcr

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$

Was here monday night after Orpheus. Downstairs was dead, with very limited seating. The majority of it is taken up by pool tables and the long bar. The downstairs had about 50 taps, but very similar to what I had at the bulldog (as others have pointed out).

Upstairs, was a much better atmosphere and packed due to Mardi Gras season. Smaller tap selection, and nothing too crazy. Bottle selection had nothing truly noteworthy on it. In general, if you are looking for a "beer bar" i'd head to the bulldog, as this bar didn't really do it for me in terms of selection, st least in comparison. Don't get me wrong being able to have a good number of abitas and NOLA brews on tap was great, but in comparison to the other "beer bars" this was not my favorite.

02-19-2010 15:47:23 | More by Tinfoilrcr
Photo of TeeCee
TeeCee

Louisiana

3.43/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$

This is a bar with a split personality. There are 50 taps downstairs and a few pool tables. I've only had a beer or two downstairs and it feels kind of awkward. The bar is long and then there are the pool tables. That's it.

Upstairs however is a bit more comfortable. 20 beers on tap, some tables scattered in two or three small rooms, and more tables outside on the balcony. The only reason I ever actually come to The Balcony is when The Bulldog is closed or if I want to eat pizza. That's just because I like the atmosphere and the beer selection at the Bulldog more. If we didn't have The Bulldog, after I stopped crying, I would probably start hanging out at The Balcony.

The beer selection upstairs is only 20 taps, but it's not all wasted on BMC. Last time I was there, they Hogaarden, Franziskaner, and Abita Purple Haze on tap, any of which I can drink all night. The bottled beer selection isn't in sight and I don't recall it being impressive (I haven't asked for bottled beer there in a while). This place is supposed to be owned by the same people that own Club Decatur, so I find surprising that the bottle selection seems to be lacking. Maybe they're just lacking space for the right type of cooler.

The food: they have a pizza kitchen on the premises and it's not the by-the-slice type of pizza kitchen. It's a made to order pizza kitchen that puts whatever you want on the pizza. Good stuff. The pizza alone is a good enough reason to go to The Balcony.

I've never had a bad tasting beer here, but I wouldn't say it tasted quite as fresh as the beer at The Bulldog.

Service upstairs is usually OK. With only 20 beers on tap, you're not likely to need much feedback on the selection.

02-23-2008 20:31:00 | More by TeeCee
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.03/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | $$

Just a stone's throw away from The Bulldog, the double doors opened right onto the elongated "U"-shaped bar directly to the left. To the right were a couple of pool tables and a foosball table. The beer selection consisted of fifty (50) taps, but they were all very similar to what I had just experienced at The Bulldog. The bottle selection was extremely pedestrian. I did like the use of the trough in the Men's and when they would not let me upstairs to take a peek, I wondered if it might be a brothel and I just was not in the know. I'll probably never find out, because this was a real one-and-done.

Query: If two nearby places have approximately the same selection, but one has a great ambiance and the other is dead, why bother with the latter? It's a non sequitur.

01-31-2008 21:03:16 | More by woodychandler
Photo of dlintern
dlintern

Louisiana

3.15/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$

While not really a "Beer Bar", they do have a lot of taps (40 or so). The selection is OK, nothing out of the ordinary, just a lot of options of the same styles. I usually stick with the Abita Select if it’s good, or a Long Hammer or Sierra Nevada. You won’t see anything special here, and even if you ask for a seemingly regular beer, the bartenders usually have a hard time finding it so you might want to point out where the tap is to them. The food is upstairs and there is a second bar upstairs as well with a smaller but similar selection of taps. They have a fairly large menu for a bar, they do deliver, and the food is usually good and exceptional after killing your taste buds with $2 rolling rocks all night. There are a few pool tables and a foosball table as well as smaller individual rooms upstairs and the balcony is nice to hang out on as well. There is a large service industry crowd that comes in a little later as well as a small but steady college crowd. A fun place to hang out, but like I said before, not really a beer bar.

08-24-2007 17:11:55 | More by dlintern
Photo of acrawf6
acrawf6

Louisiana

2.85/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$

I go here from time to time, yet i just did not really think of it as a beer bar...just a bar with a bit more than usual beers to choose from.

The place itself is pretty cool to hang out in, but i prefer when it isnt so crowded. The lighting always stands out to me- its dark, but has a white neon light as well. I know that doesnt make all that much sense, but it is something i particularly like about the place.

The beer selection i dont think is all that great. They have enough on tap (if i were to guess, i'd say they have about 40-50 taps). Abita is well represented, as well as a couple of redhooks, sam adams, snpa, some mass produced germans, and a few big name english beers.

The service is usually average to poor. Either they take forever to get to ya, or they dont know any of the beer on tap (or both). Normally i wouldnt bring up the slow service, but there have been 2 times were the place was not crowded, yet it took over 5 minutes to get to me....the bartenders were just talking up a storm.

I dont think they serve food here, but i could be wrong.

Overall, the atmosphere is the best thing about this place, a cool bar to just hang out in. But if you want a selection, go down the block to the bulldog.

07-06-2007 19:42:25 | More by acrawf6
Photo of rousee
rousee

Massachusetts

3.76/5  rDev +23.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $

I really liked the vibe in this place. This is a vintage southern bar --reminds me of what I love about New Orleans so much. Just a cool ambience that kind of harkens back to another time.

We arrive and we are informed immediately that it is happy hour and that all beers are going to be like 2 bucks or something really cheap. Liquor will be 3.50 and premium call 4 bucks. The place was pretty empty when we arrived and I always enjoy a quiet bar over a packed one.

The beer selection was really only slightly better than average just like the Bulldog up the block. I just get an Abita when this is the case. They had one of the downloadable juke boxes which had quite a bit of stuff on it and also a pool table in the middle of the room. The service was friendly and prompt. I actually liked this place about as much as any of the uptown bars I have been to. I'm dying to go back not because of the beer selection or really anything other than the cool atmosphere of this place.

01-23-2007 22:50:44 | More by rousee
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Balcony Bar & Cafe in New Orleans, LA
80 out of 100 based on 11 ratings.