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New Orleans: Where even the locals are drinking in hotels

Hotels are teaming up with inventive bar managers to create hangouts that pull in enthusiastic local followings.

In New Orleans, hotel bars aren’t just for overnight guests anymore, said Pableaux Johnson in The New York Times. Throughout the city, hotels are teaming up with inventive bar managers to create hangouts that pull in enthusiastic local followings. “In a city known for its ambitious culinary scene and cocktail culture,” that requires raising creative standards and doing away with watery, overpriced vodka tonics.

Bellocq The creators of the acclaimed barroom Cure recently branched out by opening an homage to the city’s old red-light district inside the Hotel Modern. Bellocq specializes in such obscure 19th-century cocktails as the Rye Smash, plus a list of refreshing “cobblers”—low-alcohol, juice-based cocktails made with sherry, port, or Madeira. 936 St. Charles Ave., (504) 962-0900

Carousel Bar Even this tourist haunt in the French Quarter’s historic Hotel Monteleone has gotten a serious makeover. The bar’s spinning carousel-style bar still holds center stage, but it’s now a tasteful “dose of classic New Orleans kitsch” at the heart of a more spacious and elegant after-hours lounge. 214 Royal St., (504) 523-3341

Borgne Downtown’s Hyatt Regency made a splash with its fall reopening by adding this breezy Louisiana-style seafood restaurant. The brainchild of chefs Brian Landry and John Besh, Borgne “updates the rustic family ‘fish camps’ that dot the state’s waterways.” The long bar to one side isn’t really the draw, but it’s a pleasant place to grab a plate of “crisp, delicate” stuffed flounder. 601 Loyola Ave., (504) 613-3860

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