Laundry and Libations: 6 New Orleans Bars That Are Also Laundromats
Mar 15 2017

Laundry and Libations: 6 New Orleans Bars That Are Also Laundromats

By: Samantha Sunne

In New Orleans, the town of the oh-so-famous drive-thru daiquiris, we drink while doing tasks other people might not see as alcohol-worthy. We drink while walking down the street. We drink at funerals. We drink on national, historical, and religious holidays of all sorts. We even drink, apparently, while doing laundry. The Big Easy boasts a good half dozen bars that offer washing machines along with the libations to ease those pesky laundry errands:  

Laundry and Libations: 6 New Orleans Bars That Are Also Laundromats

1. Igor's Lounge

Igor's Bar, Game Room, and Laundromat, a.k.a. Igor's, has stood on a corner of St. Charles for more than 40 years. The eponymous Igor owns three different locations, all of which are open 24 hours, contain washing machines, and exemplify the grungy New Orleans dive bar. Unfortunately, the machines are coin-operated. At the original location, it's $2 to wash your clothes and another two bucks to dry, meaning you need a staggering 16 quarters for one measly load of your unmentionables. 2133 St. Charles Ave. · 568-9811 · facebook.com/Igorslounge

Laundry and Libations: 6 New Orleans Bars That Are Also Laundromats

2. Lucky's

Lucky's, just a few blocks down the street from Igor’s, is practically identical but louder and even more divey. Lucky's is also open 24 hours but boasts a mere two washers and two dryers, meaning if you just stroll in, you're probably SOL. The machines are right next to a couple of pool tables in the back, although the ear-blasting music makes it a place I wouldn't want to chill for a solid hour and a half waiting on my clothes. 1625 St. Charles Ave· 523-6538 · facebook.com/luckysbarnola

Laundry and Libations: 6 New Orleans Bars That Are Also Laundromats

3. Checkpoint Charlie's

Locals calls this one Checkpoint, thereby avoiding the grammatically confusing name of "Igor's Checkpoint Charlie's." It's owned by the very same Igor of Lounge and Buddha Belly fame, which may explain the tiny, narrow room in the back with the beat-up, old-fashioned washing machines. Checkpoint was the first place I did laundry as a New Orleans transplant, dropping my quarters in the machine and settling into a gnarled wooden booth with a whiskey and coke like it was 1945. Unfortunately, Checkpoint is also coin-operated—meaning you need a full 16 quarters to wash and dry a single load of your unmentionables. 501 Esplanade Ave. · 281-4847 · facebook.com/pages/Igors-Check-Point-Charlie/117750594918159

Laundry and Libations: 6 New Orleans Bars That Are Also Laundromats

4. Three-Legged Dog

Three-Legged Dog is the smallest and quaintest of this set. It's also the only one in the French Quarter or even in close proximity to Treme or the CBD, giving it some extra points. The little bar on Conti and Burgundy, just off Rampart, offers some of the staples found in others on this list: a large screen for sporting events, an unexpected golf arcade game. But it's the coziest, chilliest, and friendliest that I visited. It's $1.50 each for washing and drying, saving you a dollar or two to spend at the bar. 400 Burgundy St. · 412-8335 · facebook.com/threeleggeddognola

Laundry and Libations: 6 New Orleans Bars That Are Also Laundromats

5. Buddha Belly

The third, largest, and last of the Igor empire is Buddha Belly on Magazine Street. This one offers a full menu—that is, a full menu of burgers, chicken, fries, and other pub staples. It has a few more machines than the Lounge—also coin-operated—as well as a porch and patio, offering respite from the noise and crowd inside. It's also noticeably quieter. In fact, when I walked in, they were playing an a cappella version of the national anthem, which was unexpected. 4437 Magazine St. · 891-6105 · facebook.com/pages/Igors-Buddha-Belly-Bar-Grill/912910348792428

Laundry and Libations: 6 New Orleans Bars That Are Also Laundromats

6. Melba's

After all this exploring, Melba's is where I settled in as my go-to laundromat. (Of course, I could go to an actual laundromat. But why?) Melba's Old School Po Boys wins out for its plastic reloadable pay card. The card only takes cash, but at least I'm more likely to have a Hamilton on me than a hanging sack of coins. The combination laundromat-bar-daiquiri shop-casino-diner also boasts the shining gems of cheap coffee, free Wi-Fi, and 24-7 status, which entitled it to a spot on our list of best coffee shops to work in. You can clean your clothes, enjoy a $1 coffee or $2 daiquiri, and hack away at your screenplay all night long. 1525 Elysian Fields Ave. · 267-7765 · eatatmelbas.com 

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