Thought I was back at Eddie Condons in New York.
My wife and I go to Fritzel's whenever we are homesick for the Northeast. I grew up in New York, where Eddie Condon's jazz club was on Jazz Alley. It is intimate, fun, has great service and the music is authentic jazz.
The tourists, however, spend more time pointing their digital cameras and blinding the musicians than they enjoy the music. I felt like yelling out, "Go back to Iowa".
Newly Restored - Fritzels is all a jazz club can be.
I am a local, and I now visit Fritzels often. The great airconditioning, newly restored mens (and they tell me) ladies bathrooms, and the traditional jazz is as great as ever. People come here from all over the world to see great tradional jazz . Tim Laughlin, clarinet and John Rowen, Piano have a regular Monday Night gig when they are not touring Europe etc..
One drink minimum, but they ask very friendly and don't bother you too much. The wait staff and owner are very hospitable.
I bring my 87 year old dancing partner there, and we second line to the cheers and smiles of the crowd.
Fritzel's IS New Orleans. The noise, crowds and general intensity of Bourbon Street aren't necessarily my scene. That's why I relax the instant I walk into the homey little cubby hole that is Fritzel's. It feels warm and familial. The music is 5 feet in front of you, and has a looseness and joy that isn't easy to find in the touristy French Quarter. I haven't been back since Katrina, but I was delighted to look it up and find it still in operation. Great beer, great music, great company. Even the drunk guy who got pushy with my friend came back later with a sincere apology. For my money, Fritzel's IS New Orleans. Highly recommended.
Bourbon Street entertainment the way it should be!. We happened upon Fritzel's on our very first night in New Orleans--it was an oasis of the past in the desert of Bourbon Street present. Beckoned inside by sounds we'd yet to hear on that mad stretch, we were thrilled by what we had found. A real, live jazz band was performing and we loved it. It turns out Fritzel's is like that every night! The walls are a collage of memorabilia, the beer is cold, the waitress was friendly, the bands are wonderful! More joints on Bourbon Street should have entertainment like this--jazz is what New Orleans is known for, after all. The scarcity of it is disappointing. The only drawback was the restroom. Maybe it's repaired by now, but when we were there in early May, there was but one for both ladies and gents, there was no toilet paper, and it was really smelly. But please, don't let that deter you--it's one of our favorite places on Bourbon Street, and I'll bet it'll be yours!
A shining example that all French Quarter jazz clubs would do well to follow..
Located at ground zero of the Quarter's parade of madness, it's a haven of authenticity on a street world-renowned for its contrived gaudiness. Sports memorabilia and folksy posters add to a general German beer-house atmosphere. Fritzel's is famous for its imported and domestic beers and a selection of imported schnapps. Patrons regularly down the bar's signature half-and-half concoction of Fuerst Bismarck and Apfelkorn schnapps.
Fritzel's is a prime destination for beer lovers of all ages, from nose-ringed kids looking for something different to older patrons who come to enjoy the intricacies of the club's trademark Dixieland jazz. It's also a magnet for musicians, who tend to drop by after their gigs wrap up for late-night jams featuring obscure tunes and familiar favorites. Bands from all corners of the globe play the stage.
The Real Deal. Most people walk right by unaware of the jem this tiny joint can be. I have spent several nights on different trips in Fritzel's listening to th elive jazz renderings of Jack Maheu and friends. When Mason Burbon shuts down fo the night, the jazz players end up at Fritzel's to sit in with Jack. If you wnat to hear real jazz instead of taped music, stop in to Fritzel's.
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