GOOD FRIENDS NEW ORLEANS

Back in the 1990s, ladies loved going to fern bars.❠These spots were allegedly classier than regular bars, as they were filled with plants (ferns) and other amenities appealing to women. Ladies could hang out there, order a chardonnay, and not be looked at askance by the bartender. Good Friends is a kind of fern bar, though in this case, the ferns are neon, perched on the four corners of the bar. While you could probably order a chardonnay, most patrons stick with vodka and soda.

Good Friends is a gay bar and occupies a corner on what is affectionately called The Fruit Loop,❠a circle of gay bars in the lower end of the French Quarter. But it is also a neighborhood bar and the patrons range across gender, age, and sexual orientation depending on the time of day and season. Unlike many gay bars whose clientele tend to skew male, Good Friends has a nice mix of men and women. The bar’s balcony offers a tranquil escape and shade under its jaunty umbrellas, and both it and the downstairs bar are places you can always count on as relatively quiet places to visit and catch up with friends. Good Friends is a consistently welcoming place, made even sweeter by its signature drink, the Separator, a kind of frozen White Russian/Brandy Alexander that tastes fantastic on a hot day. When they ask if you want it topped with whipped cream, the answer is always yes.

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