Harry’s is a great neighborhood bar located in the heart of what most people don’t think of as a neighborhood: the French Quarter. But unlike many bars just a few blocks away that cater to out of towners, Harry’s patrons are mostly local. Artists who work on Jackson Square, musicians who play on Bourbon Street, waiters and bartenders who keep crowds well fed and well watered, all eventually congregate at this mecca for locals.
An artist friend of mine, Katie, usually stops in at Harry’s after she has packed up her art on Jackson Square and is headed home for the day. She also told me that during Saints games, many artists will post a sign next to their art, saying, I’m at Harry’s Bar watching the Saints. If you want to buy something, just call me. She said that invariably, at least one of her artist friends will get a call from a customer, run the two blocks to Jackson Square, make a sale and return to the bar, rarely missing even one play.
Harry’s is most certainly a favorite because of its reasonable drink prices, but it is also popular because of its easy charm Its jukebox is full of classic rock and old country, and the bartender will usually walk over and fill the room with Elvis Presley and Loretta Lynn when the music runs out. All of the bartenders are friendly that way. Unlike a lot of newer places that are staffed with kids barely old enough to drink, Harry’s bartenders are all of a certain age. They’ve seen a lot and they know a lot, but they aren’t jaded or grumpy. They are just happy to pour you a rum and Coke and tell you everything they love about New Orleans, and if you sit there long enough, the regulars next to you will join in with suggestions of their own.