THE KINGPIN NEW ORLEANS

I really love the Kingpin. It’s the kind of place where the bartender calls you “hon.” The vibe is punk rockabilly, though the crowd may not have as much ink as that sensibility would indicate. Just as medieval churches were covered with sacred relics and decor to lure pilgrims, the Kingpin is similarly crammed with secular relics: hubcaps, record jackets from Bob Wills and Frank Sinatra, sundry images of Elvis. Installed behind the bar are two velvet paintings: one of Jesus Christ, the other of Hulk Hogan. They’re given equal prominence and are each illuminated by the multiple strands of Christmas lights the bar uses in lieu of candles. The red walls lend it a decadent air. The patrons of the Kingpin tend to skew a bit older: few college students, more thirty- and forty-somethings who live nearby. Beer is the focus here, though the wine selection isn’t bad. The beer goes well with the myriad food trucks that are usually parked outside. When Lee lived Uptown, this was his neighborhood bar, and though we don’t come here often, I always have a good time when we do. It’s one of the few bars with shuffleboard, so we usually play a round. Darts are also an option if you need something to do, but ladies beware: one of the boards is hung very near the entrance to your restroom Just be mindful of errant throws when coming and going!

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