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Very Good
51 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(504) 942-3731 | map

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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 38
Reviews by Rumrunner:
Photo of Rumrunner
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I must say that I love my yearly visit to the New O'rleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This year was a great year and I stayed in a hotel on the edge of the quarter which is within walking distance of the d.b.a..

The d.b.a. is not technically in the quarter. Across Esplanade St. down Chartres St. is a funky yuppy neighborhood with a clean sophisticated charm to it. A much different feel than the heart of the quarter. In the neighborhood there are quite a few clubs, restaurants and bars. Many of which stay open until the wee hours of the morning if the crowd is up to it. A good section of town for shopping. Not as many touristy shops selling shot glasses, chickory coffee and the like. I found this neighborhood to be very inviting and I will return the next time I am in N.O..

I entered the d.b.a. at about 1:00 A.M.. I could not sleep that night. N.O. energizes the night owl in me. The d.b.a. was crowded but not sardine crowded. Walter Wolfman Washington was playing that night and was just awesome. The crowd was friendly and enthusiastic. A great night to be at the d.b.a..

From the entrance, I took the place in. The walls and the high ceiling are the same colored reddish wood. I took a seat at the rectangular bar which is located in the middle of the d.b.a.. I lucked out and I got a seat right near the band. Above the bar are the chalk boards which list the beers, wine and spirits the bar serves. The lighting was very uneven. A mix of bright and dark areas in the place. On the other side of the bar at the end of the room is a tiny stage. I don't know how the band plays on this small of a stage. In fact the saxaphonist was on the dance floor instead of on stage with the rest of the band. To the side are some tables and chairs. The rest of the space along this side of the bar is made up for dancing and listening to the band. The music is loud but not ear splitting loud. I felt very comfortable in this place.

My order of a Rogue Brutal Bitter was quickly filled. The bartenders were quite busy but the bartender serving me would stop by when he could to see how I was doing. Quality service that night. I stopped by on another night and a different bartender was serving me. Not quite as on the ball but I won't say the service was bad, just not as good.

The selection is top notch for New O'rleans. Good for some other parts of the country. Plenty from America, England, Germany, Belgium, Canada and other countries. They cover many of the styles beer conisseur's search out. Sadly N.O. is not a hop head town yet. Despite the d.b.a. having a nice selection of Rogue beers they don't carry a quality ipa. I mentioned this to the bartender and he said they are working on it. Distribution problems. If you venture in, ask about the ipa selection. Eventually the problem will be solved. Check their website for the beer list as selections rotate.

I highly recommend this place for the beer traveler and the neighborhood for its friendly and opposite atmoshphere to the middle of the quarter. I am not knocking Bourbon St.. It serves its purpose and there are plenty of great restaurants to eat at. It is just nice to find a different kind of vibe in N.O.. A niche unto its own.

I finished the night with a St. Bernardus 12 from the tap, served in the proper glassware. It was about 3:30 A.M. when I left the bar. Walter Wolfman Washington was still jamming and the crowd, thinner in numbers, was still exuberant.

Highly recommended.

 3,488 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of JamesLeung
3.97/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of KensWorld
3.73/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Photo of Barnoloid
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Came here during Halloween, which I can say is one of the most fun times to be in a city, such as NOLA. There was a band on and a cover, which I was glad of as most other bars on Frenchman seemed stacked. Really cool layout in here with the stage area and the large other side of the bar. We took one of the large window booths and checked out the excitement outside. Service was good despite the large amount of rather drunk people in here. Barely had to wait to be taken care of. Tap selection seemed decent, if a little underwhelming in terms of depth. For quality though, can't complain.

 591 characters

Photo of Squire123
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of kingjohnh
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of chartreusefiend
4.83/5  rDev +21.7%
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

 253 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of WholeLottaTricks
3.32/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of schenectady
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of macon337
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of ronin926
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of PawPawPepperoni
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of champ103
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

 721 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 992 characters

Photo of nlmartin
2.49/5  rDev -37.3%
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.

 699 characters

Photo of loren01
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

 537 characters

Photo of brewtopia88
3.04/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

 643 characters

Photo of HopstothemaxMD
3.93/5  rDev -1%
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.

 909 characters

Photo of dude
3.85/5  rDev -3%
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.

 564 characters

Photo of saztheorybook
2.88/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

 806 characters

Photo of LabBrewer
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

 768 characters

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d.b.a. in New Orleans, LA
Place rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 51 ratings
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