Bar, Eatery

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

(504) 942-3731 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 51 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by nlmartin:
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nlmartin from Ohio

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.

Jul 12, 2011
More User Reviews:
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slander from New York

4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Mike the Fool (his actual name) and I had been hitting Peculier Pub on Bleecker Street nearly every weekend in the early to mid 90’s, and then I read about this new place in the Ale Street News called d.b.a over on 1st Avenue. We went and had a look one night, and well, Batemans XXXB on something called ‘cask’ and a 2am pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Deli still open at that hour sealed the deal on d.b.a being our new haunt, fucked up bathrooms be damned! I recall a few years in there being talk about a 2nd location that had opened up down in New Orleans. It’s only taken me 2 dozen years to get there and see it…

This as we wind down a long day. Outside the French Quarter in the Marigny Triangle, dropped by an Uber at the edge of crazy. It’s a 2 room deal with something of a wraparound bar between both rooms; well worn & stained wood trimmed copper topped ‘C’ shapes, with vertical wood bases & piping foot rails. The bar runs full length on this side with seating for 8 on wooden chairs and shorty on the other side seating 10 as they need space to stand to watch what band will play on the stage to the rear.

We’re on the longer side where holds a pair of stainless steel ‘T’ towers with 10 taps each. Shelved boozed tiered over countered glassware on the barback, and vertical glassware & booze box shelving on the ends. A triple wide can & bottle cooler below the bar along with cupboardy space. Boards above the bar list bottled beer selections by country, and then Scotch, Bourbon, Whiskey, Rum, Vodka, & Tequila. Draft beer board below with wine, cognac, & other stuff boards. A single shelf over the tiered booze with random bottles. And some pics of people up over the bar, one of which is Ray, of course. Respect. ‘Drink good stuff’ above the bar, and it’s 1995 all over again.

Slat wood walls, inner & outer, and the floors & ceiling, too. Spinny top lamps tracing the bar and track spots on the beer & booze boards. Fans running down the center of the room and slight seating nooks to both sides of the door. Bar counter space on the far wall and a few tables running the wall. Framed mirrored pieces angled above (so they can see what’s what). Flatscreen in the front corner, a Sazerac here, a Negroni there.

Okay, so on this side, a raised area to the rear housing band equipment just now but some chill space otherwise. And the bathrooms, which while they are not pretty, are also not the Trainspotting/Washington Square Park-like public bathrooms of d.b.a. NYC. The bartenders magically come and go through a cut through to serve both rooms. On the other side, band playing on the stage to the rear here, a 5 piece, and yes, there are horns. Prints and paintings of performers and a TV screen to the front showing the band to the rear. Wall mounted lamps and NOLA play.

20 taps, a mix of local/regional (NOLA Blonde Ale & Prytania Imperial Porter, Urban South Holy Roller IPA, Royal Chevelle Diablo Porter, Gnarly Barley Jucifer IPA, Tin Roof Voodoo APA, Abita Amber, Lazy Magnolia Sweet Potato Stout), craft from afar (Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale, New Belgium Brut IPA, Lagunitas IPA), imports (Guinness, Harp, Warsteiner Pils, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, Lindeman Framboise, Chimay Tripel, Hoegaarden), the lone retro (PBR) and sole cider (Crispin Cider). I drank the Lazy Magnolia Sweet Potato Stout & NOLA Prytania Imperial Porter, both were clean and in good shape.

The street scene was absolute madness, but d.b.a was somewhat chill, at least when we got here. It started to fill in heavily around us as things do, we being awesome and all. We did 2 beers and out, and then returned a few hours later when Phil discovered that he had lost his wallet somewhere (again) and for some reason decided it must be here (it wasn’t). We didn’t all come back on the hunt though as (douchebag) Davo, errrrrr, Mr. LeBoud, as he’s known in the south, abandoned his crew when things got tight. Anyway, they’ve got a pretty good representation of local & regional beers on one end (2/5 of the list, anyway) but a bunch of somewhat meh imports on the other end, not unlike its sister bar up north. Still, happy to have been able to finally see the place.

Apr 13, 2020
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metter98 from New York

3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Oct 13, 2017
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JamesLeung from Florida

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

Feb 22, 2017
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KensWorld from Florida

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

Dec 11, 2016
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Barnoloid from Illinois

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.

Nov 19, 2016
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Squire from Mississippi

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

Jun 27, 2016
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kingjohnh from New Mexico

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

Feb 27, 2016
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FLBeerGuy from Florida

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

Dec 07, 2015
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chartreusefiend from Pennsylvania

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

Jul 28, 2015
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Daniellobo from District of Columbia

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

Mar 21, 2015
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WholeLottaTricks from Louisiana

3.32/5  rDev -16.4%

Nov 10, 2014
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4.4/5  rDev +10.8%

Nov 04, 2014
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macon337 from Alabama

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Oct 08, 2014
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ronin926 from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Sep 19, 2014
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PawPawPepperoni from Louisiana

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Jul 02, 2014
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champ103 from Texas

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.

Oct 05, 2012
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rfgetz from New Jersey

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.

Mar 13, 2012
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loren01 from Washington

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.

Feb 24, 2011
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brewtopia88 from Georgia

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.

Jan 22, 2011
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HopstothemaxMD from Virginia

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.

Dec 03, 2010
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dude from Pennsylvania

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.

Feb 13, 2010
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saztheorybook from Louisiana

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.

Aug 26, 2009
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LabBrewer from Ohio

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.

Apr 20, 2009
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unclejimbay from Florida

4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
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!"

Mar 25, 2009
d.b.a. in New Orleans, LA
Place rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 51 ratings