When you walk into Treo, look up and take in the extraordinary map of New Orleans, constructed from reclaimed wood. A faded green door stands in for City Park, and a cream-colored, domed light fixture is the perfect replica of the Superdome. There’s another map of the city and its environs on the wall, and patrons are invited to stick pins into it to mark their homes. The Mid-City section looks like a pincushion, but there’s still plenty of room as you stretch out. Unlike its sister bar, Finn McCool’s over on Banks Street, whose focus is whiskey and beer, Treo serves some great cocktails.
Treo is brought to us by the good folks at Finn McCool’s, who know a thing or two about creating a warm, neighborhood vibe. The cocktails are imaginative and seasonal. The summer menu features The Mistress, their riff on the French 75, featuring gin, blueberry syrup and sparkling rose; the spicy Sunda Selat showcases a house-infused cumin and jalapeno bourbon mixed with lime. Patrons who like something more traditional can choose from a whole page of standards including the Old Fashioned, Blood and Sand, and the Vieux Carre, each offered for the bargain price of $7. Indeed, this part of the menu feels a bit like a challenge, and Lee and I have steadily worked to complete the list.
Treo and its beautiful city map that watches over its patrons
The amiable environment is augmented by a friendly and knowledgeable staff that is happy to answer questions about unfamiliar ingredients. On a slow night, bar manager Tyler Chauvin may even share her enthusiasm for (and a small sample of) their collection of unfamiliar vermouths and amaros. Treo also features an art gallery and frequently has openings featuring local artists’ work. If the gallery is open, it’s certainly worth a visit. The owners, Pauline and Stephen Patterson, really love this section of Mid-City and have worked hard to support its revitalization. Treo is their gift to their neighbors: a friendly date-night spot with great drinks in a beautifully renovated space.