“Chickie Wah Wah is simply one of the best music venues in New Orleans, which is saying a hell of a lot. Chickie’s talent roster is unique: one of the most inspired, interesting and plain fun in the city," says Quint Davis CEO Festival Productions Producer for New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. "After a very few years, Chickie Wah Wah has taken its place alongside the Maple Leaf, d.b.a., and Tipitina’s as a classic New Orleans groove haunt.”
Talk about an endorsement!
If Quint Davis, the guy who produces the city's jazz fest, loves Chickie Wah Wah, then it’s time you discovered it, too.
John Johson and Jon Cleary tear it up at Chickie Wah Wah — Photo courtesy of Robbie Mendelson
Centrally located in Mid-City, just a street car ride on Canal Street away from the French Quarter, Chickie Wah Wah is a music venue for grown-ups.
Although since the no-smoking ordinance passed in April Chickie Wah Wah isn't alone in its smoke-free status, the club is still a breath of fresh air.
What is there to love about this intimate venue?
Chickie Wah Wah is a locals' fave, thanks to its interesting lineup, great food and music-loving vibe. Expect an older crowd of mostly locals, since not too many tourists find their way to this friendly club.
If you're lucky, UK blues pianist Jon Cleary, who lives in the neighborhood, will be playing his regular weekly gig. But you might encounter rockabilly, jazz, rock; the calendar's eclectic.
Showtimes are generally on the earlier side than you'll find elsewhere, another plus if you have work or meetings in the AM. Typically there’s a no-cover happy hour show around 6 p.m. and another headliner in the 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. range.
Unlike many clubs, Chickie Wah Wah asks the artists to set the cover price and lets the band keep the full door, a sign that musicians are respected in these parts. Cover is rarely more than $10.
The vibe is intimate and inviting, with a compact dance floor and artsy vintage signage on the walls from nostalgic local institutions.
If you show up hungry, order from pop-up restaurant Blue Oak BBQ, which dishes up some seriously fresh pit barbecue: slow-roasted goodness.
Try the brisket and the ribs for sure. They come with sides like roasted garlic mac 'n' cheese and Brussels sprouts.
Be forewarned that the barbecue pork nachos are seriously addictive.
Do yourself a favor. 1. Get off of Bourbon Street. 2. Expand beyond Frenchmen Street for music. 3. Make your way by taxi or streetcar to Chickie Wah Wah, a gem of a music venue in happening Mid-City that you’re going to love.