Bright blue Bywater dive somewhere near the end of the world.
The Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans can feel like the edge of the known world, a stark contrast to the sheer density of the city just a few blocks away. Though Bar Redux is part of an area affectionately referred to as the “Barmuda Triangle,” the tourist invasion of the area isn’t yet unbearable, making it a much-needed dive bar antidote to the Bourbon Street…experience.
Even for the Bywater, Bar Redux feels remote, due in large part to the abandoned naval base that looms over the bar’s slender rectangular building. The graffiti game is strong, very strong, in this part of the Bywater, some murals spanning multiple stories of the naval base’s defunct buildings nearby. All of it, just across the street from the Bywater’s more residential area, makes Bar Redux feel like an outpost at the end of the world.
And as far as outposts go, Bar Redux is an excellent dive bar to find at the edge of the universe. The building burns brightly in blue, an explosion of color in stark contrast to some of the dive bar’s neighbors. The sign above the front door simply says “BAR” because really, what else do you need to know, purple trim and window air conditioners comprising the rest of the visual appeal of the building.
Inside, the space is skinny and densely packed, the color palette extended with bright red walls and colorful accents throughout. The bar area itself is a small curved square in the middle of the space, seating ringing the area. Just as the graffiti is strong outside, the sticker game is intense inside, lining the exposed pillars above and around the bar. The walls are similarly packed, from framed photos of celebrities to large-scale posters to a handful of creepy dolls and mannequin heads (pre-Halloween details or permanent fixtures, unclear).
wooden roof that makes the space feel a world away from the Bywater around it. A wooden fence lines the outdoor space, its square footage just as densely packed as the dive bar walls inside. Sculptures, license plates, traffic signs, strung lights, this is a dive bar patio in every sense of that term. Paired with the handful of seats along the street outside the front door, Bar Redux’s outdoor spaces take a tiny blue building on the edge of the world and make it feel like a secluded dive bar drinking oasis.
In many ways, the Bywater represents everything great about New Orleans without dipping into some of the over-commercialized, tourist-heavy zones that can sap some of the authenticity from the experience. Just one bend of the Mississippi River away from the French Market and its French Quarter cousin, Bar Redux preserves a distinct and dive bar-perfect vibe, using a small amount of square footage to make a loud, colorful, unique impact.