As a N.O. ex-pat I'll stop in from time to time every couple of years or so. Cooter's was a neighborhood haunt for my gang many years back when so I know it well. Seems since the Storm things have been trying for most of the places in town and luckily this spot's got a great location so it's still here. Easy to find. Maybe too easy.
My last visit could serve as an ad for the Mississippi Tourist Bureau.
-$14 oysters...there was a time when they'd stop selling them if they got too pricey..poorly shucked....the oyster NEEDS to be separated from the shell, only one was. Rookie mistake.
-Bathrooms haven't been cleaned apparently since my last visit..same for the tables. It's a dump and you can tell that going in but it is the 21st century. No excuse for a bar that prominent to be so poorly maintained. EVEN in N.O.La.
-First two beer brands I ordered they no longer carry...both brands I regularly get anywhere in the country at any "beer centric" bar. Both brands I learned about at...Cooter's. Makes you wonder if they're even paying attention or maybe they lost a distributor for "whatever" reason.
-Here's the big one: WATCH YOUR CREDIT CARD!!! When I tried to settle my tab the staff of 3 (only about 10 people in the place on a Saturday night) couldn't produce my credit card or bill. After 15 minutes of huddling by the register the girl tells me "it's gone". Almost like she wanted me to just pay in cash. The other two wandered away from the conversation but hovered until I said I'd just call the cops.....You guessed it, THAT got them back in gear and my card was "found" seconds later. As I was signing off and figuring a tip ( yeah, I know but I grew up in the service industry, I always give servers the benefit of doubt ) one of the staff decides to get aggressive. When I warned him to back down he made like he was gonna come around the bar at me then apparently decided better of it. After asking the girl AGAIN for my tab I tipped/signed/left. The next day I had an interesting conversation with some goof calling himself Larry. No doubt now where the crap performance comes from. He comes off like he's never worked a day in his life. Not a clue. Poor Larry's so busy trying to evade the issue of his staff's incompetence and inform me of what a great place he's got he forgot to thank me for my decades of custom or my restraint with the punks he has running his bar. Couldn't care less about the apparently attempted I.D. theft. The New Orleans Police, on the other hand, were more than happy to hear about my concerns. Maybe they've heard it before. My credit card company actually showed TWO transactions from there, neither matched the amount I signed for....they took care of it.
Bottom line: If you're some neighborhood college kid who's used to dealing with half assed, petulant service, posses a robust immune system, and pay's cash it's not the worst place in the city. Burgers are good and they still have a decent beer menu. Otherwise you can find better food in a friendlier and cleaner atmosphere for less money about anywhere else Uptown.
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