Not known for much other than their $1.50 drinks all day, every day, Ms. Mae’s is home to an assorted mix of patrons including locals, tourists, college kids, biker dudes and everyone in-between.
The first time I ever stepped foot in Ms. Mae’s, I was a junior in college and I had a bunch of friends in town for Jazz Fest. I knew it was cheap, unpretentious and served both Dixie and PBR – perfect for five young, poor college kids.
We walked in and I immediately knew it was going to be a good night. I got the first round of drinks – a few of these and a couple of those – and just $10.00 later, we were set. We took a seat at one of the tables between the bar and the video poker machines. And that’s when we saw her — The Ms. Mae.
In case you don’t know (which, you probably don’t) Ms. Mae is one pistol of a woman. If I had to guess, she’s probably between 60 and 70 and she is a fire-cracker. She sits herself at the end of the bar, smoking, drinking and watching. She watches the crowd like a hawk and if she sees something she doesn’t like, you’re outta there! I once saw her kick a 30-something body builder out of the bar. Seriously. Now, Ms. Mae doesn’t get physical, she gets crotchety. It’s similar to Walter Matthau’s character in Grumpy Old Men , and it is entertainment enough for me.
Like all New Orleans characters, Ms. Mae and her bar are anything but ordinary. From the various games (including three video poker machines, pool, air hockey and foos-ball) to the incredibly cheap drinks ($7.00 and you’re golden), Ms. Mae’s has all the makings for a good night out in New Orleans. And, since it’s open 24-hours, it’s the perfect place for a pre-parade Bloody Mary during Mardi Gras or a last stop beer at 2 am.
A minor drawback to Ms. Mae’s is that they don’t serve food, which many of the other late-night New Orleans establishments do. Easy fix, though, Ms. Mae’s is in the center of the uptown bar scene so it’s a quick cab ride to late-night food spots like F & M’s, The Balcony Bar or Bruno’s.
Another drawback is that Ms. Mae’s is cash only (naturally, with drinks being just $1.50) so come prepared. There is an ATM but there is a service charge.
So, after many years of patronage there are a few things I’ve learned at Ms. Mae’s, the most important being that a $1.50 well drink tastes just as good (maybe even a bit better) than one that’s $5.00 at some other bar. And, nothing beats air hockey at 1:00 am.
4336 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA