Come for the college education, stay for the cheap beer.
To think of New Orleans as a college town probably isn’t the first thing that leaps to mind at the mention of the city, but the presence of Tulane at the western end of the Uptown district has created an almost hidden strip of small bars very much off the beaten path. Just off of the Mississippi River, Redd’s Uptilly Tavern sits along a three-block stretch of college-friendly coffee shops and such that feels a little bit like a commercial oasis within a very residential area.
Fairly freshly opened, established 2012, Redd’s Uptilly Tavern doesn’t have dive bar history to stand on necessarily, but it does have an out of the way location with cheap drinks and a neighborhood vibe that makes it worth visiting. The building is short, square, brick of a building occupying a corner plot, about as “bar for locals” as it gets in appearance and location.
A small sign and chalkboard out front signal that there’s beer to found here, which may not be readily apparent at first glance. The intersection the bar sits on feels particularly deserted at night, though a handful of drinking options, some recessed from the road, complete the strip. Because we’re only talking about a handful of stops here, it’s easy for Redd’s to fade into the neighborhood that surrounds it, which isn’t a bad thing.
Inside, the space feels open and kind of cavernous by New Orleans standards. The orientation of the front door only accentuates that feeling, the bar feeling a little bit off in the distance in the rear of the space, a large fireplace standing between it and the entrance. Church pews surround this front room, convenient seating for a long night of drinking, with low tables and chairs dotting the interior of the space. To the left, a pool table commands its own island of entertainment, disconnected by nature of the layout from the rest of the dive bar (again, not a bad thing).
At the rear of the space, a small bar juts out from the wall, a handful of chairs available for seating. Throughout, the structure of the building has been allowed to shine through, from the painted but exposed ceiling to the brick interior walls that mirror the dive bar’s exterior appearance. A handful of lazily-moving fans keep the air moving and the requisite set of TVs and bar lights fill the surrounding walls.
Redd’s Uptilly Tavern is a college bar hidden away in a small stretch of New Orleans unlucky to be stumbled upon by tourists, which is where the dive bar gets its allure. The short, squat building and the pricing geared for the college crowd make it a unique stop in a part of the city that might not otherwise provoke a reason to visit. And best yet, Redd’s Uptilly Tavern is walking distance from Snake & Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge, making it the perfect pre- or post-Snake location.