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Apr 21, 2011 02:45 PM

Need some help on dress codes - Luke and Mr B's

Luke - I have been there before and apparently I was overdressed as it seemed pretty informal --most customers in jeans. But it was cooler weather. I will be heading down next week for Jazz Fest and am trying to travel lightly. I was wondering if nice shorts and a polo shirt would be okay for happy hour. Also, do they still do the 50 cent oysters at happy hour?

Mr B's - Only planning to have lunch in the bar area. Again, I am wondering about shorts and a polo shirt in that cilrcumstance. And don't worry, I won't be embarressed if I am underdressed. Don't get me wrong. I like to go to a nice restaurant and be well dressed. Just not this trip

Thanks Hounds.

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  1. I would not wear shorts in Mr. B's or Luke's. Jeans and a nice polo would be fine. Khaki's and a polo would be better. I'm sure there will be folks with faded shorts and flip flops but I would try to be in the % of the better dressed folks just for my peace of mind. Good luck.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Littleman

      Sorry, but you didn't really read my question. I am not concerned with what you would do but what would be acceptable to the restaurant management. I know how to dress and have been to many fine restaurants in New Orleans. This trip I am slumming. But I still want access to good food. As I stated, I have been to Luke's and been almost the only customer that was wearing a jacket and slacks. Almost everyone else was wearing jeans. And this is was in the evening. I am talking about happy hour for some oysters and am just trying to find out if I can get away with wearing shorts. And, also, the question about if they still have 50 cent oysters during happy hour. Thanks for replying.

      1. re: jzirnheld

        Ah, I misread too.

        The only way to know what the management would consider proper, would be to call them, discuss what you will likely be wearing, and ask if it will meet with their approval.

        As we are only diners, we cannot tell you what management might, or might not think. Only they can.

        Enjoy, and please disregard my reply, as just like Littleman, I assumed that you wanted to know what diners felt.


        1. re: jzirnheld

          I wouldnt wear shorts either. and if you dont want to know it I wouldn't ask us.

      2. At those two restaurants, and especially at the times listed, "neat" will be fine.

        I am an anachronism, even in NOLA, as I usually am in a blazer/sport coat, except at breakfast. More and more, I am feeling a bit overdressed, but I'd rather be so, than underdressed. That is just me. I even travel in, and wear to most meals (especially dinner) a blazer in Hawai`i.

        OTOH, we did Sunday brunch at Orchids (Halekulani), and I hesitated on the blazer. Glad that I wore it, as many gentlemen were in suits, and almost all of the ladies were in Easter-type finery, with many hats and gloves! While there WERE some more casual outfits, I was glad to not be one.

        For dinosaurs, like me, the world is changing. Neat, however, will usually get you by - though not always. In London, trip before, I was hosting two lovely ladies to lunch. We approached the host, and he pointed out that I needed a jacket - which was hanging in my closet at the hotel. He offered a "replacement," but looking at it, I had flashbacks to when I was about 13, and had not worn a tie, when dining at Antoine's. As I walked through that dining room with my paper tie, I was horrified. We declined, went across St. James St., but on my next visit to that restaurant, guess who had his blazer?

        Nah, you'll be fine. Just remember "Neat."



        3 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          "neat" as in no tank tops and no flip flops?
          I feel so old! I'm in my 50s, and my mother still tells a story about my 4 year old refusal to go lunch without my white gloves.

          1. re: marthasway

            Thanks for all the replies. I agree that neat is the least necessary in a place like that and I wouldn't consider being sloppy.
            And, by the way, if anyone's been lately for happy hour I'm still wondering if they have the 50 cent oysters.

            1. re: marthasway

              Though much younger, you are a person after my heart (and my lovely wife's too). She may be the only lady in Phoenix, with 6 different pairs of gloves, though they are seldom worn here. She often travels with a pair, or two, and constantly regales me with tales of dining at D H Holmes, Maison Blanche and a few other locations in the '50s, while wearing her hats and her gloves.

              You know, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is not THAT out of date, even now. [Grin]

              Neat is slacks and collared shirts for gentlemen, and no shorts and halter-tops of ladies. Flip-flops are a non-starter for me, in all but a beach bar. Even in Hawai`i, unless we're at a pool/beach bar, we'd never use such foot ware.

              Now, I do come from a different time.


          2. I just finished packing for my 24th consecutive Jazz Fest trip -- and probably my 40th or so trip to New Orleans over that period -- and for the first time since my very first trip, I am bringing only shorts, jeans and t-shirts. There are only a handful of restaurants in New Orleans where I'd feel underdressed wearing nice jeans, a nice t-shirt, and loafers, and I'm perfectly happy skipping those places to make packing easier. (For my 8 days in New Orleans, I packed two pairs of jeans -- I'll wear a third -- three pairs of shorts, 10 t-shirts, and 5 sets of running clothes. I got it all into a suitcase I comfortably can carry aboard the plane.)

            1. FWIW, I've worn shorts to Luke during the day. After a hot afternoon at the Blues Fest in Lafayette Square, I had no qualms about sidling up to the bar and having a couple dozen and some wine. In fact, for breakfast or lunch during the summer, it's been my experience that shorts are the norm, not the exception.

              10 Replies
              1. re: BayouTeche

                Thanks. It's great to get some factual information instead of some people's sartorial preferences. Knowing that I will be allowed to wear shorts is all I was looking for. I also wish to apologize to those who think ifs their personal business what others choose to wear. I will continue to make my own decisions about how I choose to dress. But thanks for all the opinions. And thanks for all the fish.

                1. re: jzirnheld

                  Well, I am curious why you asked in the first place?

                  Just wear what you want, and see how it goes.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Exactly! The OP asked the question and then wishes to critique to responses? Not appropriate!

                    If the OP is so familiar with the city, he should know that New Orleans is a place of traditions, and one of those most important traditions is appropriate dress.

                    1. re: FoodChic

                      I agree that the OP's question, as embellished by his follow up comments, is an odd one: do we really care what management thinks? But I don't agree with you, FoodChic, that all (or even most) New Orleans restaurants are traditionally formal when it comes to appropriate dress. There are some places -- Commander's, for example -- where more formal dress is the norm. There are plenty of other places, however -- almost certainly the majority in this day and age -- where smart casual attire is perfectly fine. (We can also debate what the term "smart casual" means, but my view -- and one that's widely accepted in my home city of New York -- is that nice jeans and a nice t-shirt look a lot better on most bodies than do chinos and a polo shirt.) I understand the aversion to the stereotypical tourist attire of a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip flops, but let's all try to be open to the fact that there is no universally accepted notion of "appropriate" attire.

                      All of that said, I loved what Patrick Van Hoorebeek, the erstwhile maitre'd of The Bistro at Maison de Ville, told me 20 years ago when I called to inquire about appropriate attire for his restaurant: "We're about the food, not about what you wear. You can come naked for all I care." That being the early '90s, I'm sure I chose to wear slacks and a button down shirt; maybe a sports coat. In 2011, I'd wear jeans and a nice t-shirt. Sorry if that offends.

                      1. re: Blumie

                        Well considering I never said "all (or even most) New Orleans restaurants are traditionally formal," I can only surmise that you think appropriate means suits and ties. Appropriate dress, as most know, is never limited to a single ideal.

                        1. re: FoodChic

                          What you did say is that "New Orleans is a place of traditions, and one of those most important traditions is appropriate dress." That certainly implies to me a higher level of formality than I think is necessary; if I'm misinterpreting your words, I stand corrected.

                          1. re: Blumie


                            At one time, you would be 100% correct. Due to the European history of NOLA, it was one of the more "formal" cities in the US. Only NYC, Boston and San Francisco, were even close. Times change.

                            Of those, only NYC has maintained that level of dress-code. Even staid Boston seems to have greatly relaxed things.


                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              Even in the 90's Boston had standards--gently turned away from the bar at the (original) Ritz Carlton bc I was wearing a jacket but no tie. Today, jeans and baseball caps rule.

                              If the OP can wrap his head around drag, a string of pearls and a little black dress work anywhere... ;) New Orleans is very accommodating.

                        2. re: Blumie

                          Memory of the Bistro at Maison de Ville--after Susan Spicer left, John Neal took over (was the sous-chef)--just wonderful cooking, very friendly ambiance...John opened
                          Peristyle a few years later before passing away far too soon. Oh, concerning attire,
                          I am with Bill Hunt on this....

                    2. re: jzirnheld

                      @jz - again, if you didnt want our thoughts on what you should wear, why did you ask us what we thought was "ok"? why not simply call management and ask them?

                      myself, i dont think shorts at Mr. B's is ok.