St. Joseph, the father of Jesus, is one of New Orleans’s favorite saints. The patron saint of carpenters, his patronage is sought when one is buying, selling or repairing a house. After Katrina, signs asking for his prayers and intercession peppered the flooded landscape. His feast day, March 19, is marked by many St. Joseph altars, which are laden with food and dismantled to feed the poor. So it was inevitable that eventually there would be a bar opened in his honor. Entering the bar feels like going to church if churches made delicious mojitos. (N.B. I’d be a much better Baptist if they did.) Gilt mirrors adorn the walls and church pew benches offer patrons seating. A portrait of St. Joseph dominates the long narrow bar. According to the bartender, the owners acquired the painting for a song and planned on hanging it in their yet unnamed bar. After spending more than they bargained to restore it, they figured “What the hell?” and named the bar in the saint’s honor.
ST. JOE’S NEW ORLEANS Photo Gallery
Order their signature mojito (blueberry or original, your choice) and settle in for a visit or a game of pool. If you head to the back patio, the decor changes. The back bar (not always open) is dominated by massive armoire in an indeterminate Asian style. Maybe it’s Thai. Maybe it’s Indonesian. It does not look like it’s from a place where they serve mojitos. No matter; it’s still pretty. Colored lanterns hang from the ceiling, and the whole patio has a soft glow. Amid this scene of tranquil beauty, Lee points to some bushes in the corner and reports that he once got really sick there after his fifth mojito. A cautionary tale. He advises no more than three. I agree.
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