Expect a packed crowd on Tuesdays at this gritty neighborhood bar, situated at 2442 A.P. Tureaud Avenue, a street named for the civil rights attorney credited with fighting Jim Crow laws in New Orleans. Bullet's Sports Bar is a no-frills locals' hang, or at least it used to be. Once it was discovered on the hit HBO show Treme, the word was out.
Fans of the HBO show will remember that the tourists DJ Davis sent to Bullet’s thanked him for it, but his boss at the fancy French Quarter hotel where he was working was hardly amused. Ok full disclosure; Bullet's neighborhood can be dodgy. Although it's only two miles and change from Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, it’s best to take a cab to this Seventh Ward hotspot and use caution when traveling here.
The street itself, a residential avenue lined with neat bungalows, isn’t dangerous, but wandering around is not a good idea. Once you arrive, you’ll find a warm and welcoming crowd and a booty-shaking musical experience that you’ll be anxious to repeat every time you’re in town.
Kermit Ruffins plays just about every Tuesday night at Bullet's — Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono
Kermit starts his gigs early on Tuesdays, and if you want to get a seat in this small, narrow venue, show up by 6:30 or 7 p.m. at the latest. The cover is $10, and the drinks, while small, are reasonable at around $5. You can also order a setup, which delivers a small bottle of booze, a mixer, a bucket of ice and cups for about $20, enough to keep two dancers drinking for a while.
Grab a seat, or claim a section of wall for leaning, and enjoy the pre-music crowd. Along with locals from the Marigny or MidCity, ou’re likely to be rubbing elbows with Aussies on holiday or hipsters from Brooklyn. The crowd is always diverse.
The barbecue scene outside is as tasty as the musical menu once Kermit takes the stage. You might find food trucks frying up local catfish for po’boys, or if you’re lucky, Erik Stewart of BBQ 'n' Some will be smoking up some ribs, brisket and chicken on an over sized charcoal grill. Around $11 will get you a delicious platter of smoky goodness, including two sides. Try the baked beans.
Erik Stewart of BBQ 'n' Some serves charcoal-and-hickory-smoked chicken, ribs, pork and burgers outside of Bullet's — Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono
Once Kermit plays the first homegrown New Orleans note on his trumpet, the carnival starts. Other musicians show up to sit in, vocalists like the talented Nayo Jones may take the spotlight and the party keeps on swinging. Musicians wander in with guitars or saxophones over their shoulders, adding to the sense that something special is happening.
The action wraps early, around 10 or 11 p.m., which leaves plenty of time to head to Frenchmen Street – by taxi - where the music plays all night long.