A lot of bars act as de facto community centers, but at least once a year, Lost Love Lounge is kind of an official one. March 19, Saint Joseph’s Day, is a big day on the New Orleans Catholic calendar. Though the festivities may not match those for St. Patrick, many churches in New Orleans create enormous altars to the saint. Church members bake special cakes and breads shaped like the tools St. Joseph used. The altars are assembled a few days before, and then they are taken apart on the feast day and used to feed the hungry. These altars abound all over New Orleans; even our local grocery store, Rouse’s, has one. But my favorite St. Joseph altar is at the Lost Love Lounge. Patrons from all over the neighborhood bring pasta, stuffed artichokes, seafood and other bounty and serve it all under a disco ball. It’s usually the one day of the year I’m drinking there in daylight.

I love how much of a manifestation of the neighborhood the festival is, because the bar is just as welcoming on the other 364 days of the year. The Lost Love Lounge is a little hipster, a little divey. The furniture is scruffy, from the dilapidated sofa to bar stools that all show quite a bit of wear, even in the dark. It’s the only bar I know of with a lending library. The drinks, including a decent beer list, are well priced. There isn’t a cocktail menu per se, but several popular mixed drinks, including Dark and Stormys, Pimm’s Cups, and Bloody Marys, are on offer. The programming features comedy shows, the occasional bit of live music, and AMC and HBO shows, among other things. NB: if you plan to drink here during popular shows (e.g. Game of Thrones), you may be shushed by the crowd, and too bad if you aren’t a fan. But the bar is good about posting a sign reminding you of the schedule.

If you arrive during a show, just walk down the block to Mimi’s, kill an hour and return.

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