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The French Quarter comes to East Austin with Mardi Gras-themed pop-up bar

Arianna Auber
aauber@statesman.com
East Austin bar Craftsman will celebrate Mardi Gras starting next week with French Quarter-themed decor and drinks. [Contributed by Craftsman]

The rambunctious energy of the French Quarter during Mardi Gras can be hard to replicate anywhere outside of New Orleans. But one East Austin bar hopes to channel at least some of that liveliness with a Mardi Gras-themed pop-up starting next week.

Craftsman will transform its Cesar Chavez Street bungalow bar into a French Quarter street scene starting Feb. 20 through March 5, which is Fat Tuesday. And Craftsman won't just have décor sure to transport you to Louisiana. There will also be a small menu of mixed drinks that originated in New Orleans, the birthplace of some of the most long-lasting classic cocktails today, including the Sazerac.

And what's a Mardi Gras party without street food? Craftsman will bring in "some of the French Quarter’s most popular options such as shrimp po-boy sandwiches, alligator on a stick and beignets," according to a news release. While chowing down on these bites, listen to Austin's Boss Street Brass Band on weekend nights, when the group will deliver authentic New Orleans sounds. The band will play 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday while the pop-up is going.

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There might be no better place in town for a Mardi Gras-themed bar than at Craftsman. The bar, "which opened in 2015, retains the essence of the original 1920s space with repurposed wood throughout, allowing the pop-up to easily capture the spirit and feel of old New Orleans," according to the news release.

Here's the French Quarter-inspired cocktail menu. Pat O'Brien's is named for the longtime New Orleans bar that made the Hurricane cocktail so famous; the Sazerac Coffee House is named for the now-defunct bar where the popular Sazerac cocktail was reputedly created.

Pat O’Brien’s: light rum, dark rum, passion fruit, lime, orange, Luxardo liqueur

Tropical Isle: gin, rum, vodka, melon, sugar

Sazerac Coffee House: rye whiskey, herbsaint, Peychauds bitters, sugar, lemon oil

 Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop: gin, lemon, sugar, sparkling wine

Craftsman's Mardi Gras pop-up, at 2000 E. Cesar Chavez St., will run 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Friday and 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday starting Feb. 20 through March 5.