The Crescent City is all about “rebirth”; after Katrina, the city transformed itself for the better and keeps improving. We also now have more bars and restaurants than we have ever had and our LGBT+ bar scene is thriving.
Over the years, many gay establishments have opened and closed, but recently one major transformation has been at the corner of St. Louis and Dauphine Streets. I am talking about none other than The Crossing, the new steampunk decorated venue that has lots of character and numerous televisions to see music videos and, most importantly, Saints games.
With this new look came many new staff and one of my favorites is my “Bartender for the Month” of December. Jay Jay has been at The Crossing since July starting one month before Southern Decadence, quite the trial by fire. He moved to New Orleans because he met a man (isn’t that seemingly always the case?), whom he is no longer with but, fortunate for us, he decided to stay.
Originally from New York City, Jay Jay worked as a bartender in St. Petersburg, Florida, at two dive bars and a Mexican Cantina. There is a joke in there somewhere.
Jay Jay explained that he loves working at The Crossing because it gets a lot of locals especially from the service industry. There is always consistent business. He says that most people do not even realize it is a gay bar, but they love the place even more when they find out. Recently, he had a star-sighting when Terri Nunn from the eighties band Berlin hung out in the bar after her recent concert in the city.
I asked him what makes working at a NOLA bar different from one in another city. His reply was wonderful. He explained that there is always great energy in the city because people come to New Orleans to drink and have a good time. They are more willing to experiment with new cocktails which is a bartender’s dream. One of his special creations is Jay Jay’s Twisted Fashioned which is his special take on an Old Fashioned. Instead of whiskey, however, he uses Anejo Tequila which adds a unique flavor to the libation but still has whiskey notes in it since it is aged in whiskey barrels for five years.
Even though he considers himself a tequila connoisseur, his go-to drink when he is out and about is Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka with water and a splash of cranberry juice.
So come out to The Crossing, located at 439 Dauphine Street, and get Twisted with Jay Jay. He normally works evenings and on Saints game days.