As this year’s 10th Anniversary Tales of the Cocktail just wrapped up in New Orleans, many of us are nursing our hangovers, sporting brand new tattoos, stuffing our last po’ boys in our mouths and heading straight to the airport from the bar, and it’s already time to look back over the week of drinking endurance, booze education and parties in the gauzy light of nostalgia (or dehydration). Among the week’s highlights was the Employees Only pop-up event at One Eyed Jack’s in the French Quarter, to celebrate the bar’s big win at last year’s Spirited Awards, where they were dubbed “Best Cocktail Bar in the World.” (Photos below.) The crew from the bar essentially imported most of their principal bartenders (and their white jackets), all of the partners and even their chef, Julia Jaksic, to recreate the Hudson Street cocktail bar in the Big Easy.
The night started with a mob scene at the club’s front doors and a crowd around all the bars inside to rival the real Employees Only at its most crowded. Burlesque performances from EO’s resident temptress, Calamity Chang, and Perle Noire and Nikki La Villain punctuated the evening, and it was just like Silky Sundays at home at the bar. And then something happened… Around 1:30 am with a toast point mounded with a big spoonful of EO’s famous steak tartare in one hand, and an Amelia cocktail in the other, something intangible in the room shifted. This wasn’t a show, the spirit of Employees Only had indeed taken a road trip to Toulouse Street. At 3:30 the boys brought out a giant ceremonial pot of chicken soup and paraded around the club with a brass band, and then immediately doled out chicken soup to the remaining guests, just like back at home.