The team behind New Orleans’ wildly popular Cure, cited as one of the best American bars of 2011 by the likes of Esquire and Travel & Leisure, are at it again. Neil Bodenheimer and Kirk Estopinal have recently unveiled Bellocq, a lounge located at the recently renovated Hotel Modern, formerly known as Hotel Le Cirque. The developers of this new venture hope to bring about the same type of revitalization to Lee Circle as was seen with Freret Street following Cure’s popularity.
Bellocq aims to focus on a time period that may seem foreign to the clientele, ranging from the 1820s to 1900, garnering its namesake from E.J. Bellocq, well known for his haunting photographs of prostitutes in the red light district of Storyville. The influences of the era can be found on the bar’s menu, which offers variations of cobblers, cocktails that traditionally include apertif wines, sugar, fresh fruit, and crushed ice. The bar has an updated boudoir decor with red walls, a zinc bar and drinks served on a silver tray. While Bodenheimer and Estopinal hope to provide a different type of drinking establishment, they understand what it takes for one to move out of their comfort zone. A unique, but small wine selection and hard to find 22-ounce beers sold by the glass will be available, as well as standard drinks.
Food will also be available at Belloq, with a menu created by and prepared in the kitchen of neighbor Tamarind. The restaurant, also new to the Hotel Modern, is French-Vietnamese cuisine created by chefs Dominique Macquet and Quan Tran.
Just walk two blocks to the St. Charles Ave. from Southern Comfort , your Garden District Bed and Breakfast, hop on the streetcar and it will let you off steps from Bellocq.