Summer-time Events Happening During July in NOLA

Can you believe it’s already July? Summer events are in full swing, and if you’re looking for some fun things to do this month, here are a few options to keep you busy!

Mister Mao Celebrates Two Years with Specialty Anniversary Cocktail to Benefit Southern Smoke Foundation

In just two years, Mister Mao has become one of the Crescent City’s hottest restaurants, and Sophina Uong has earned national praise and recognition, including Bon Appètit “Best New Restaurants 2022”; Restaurant Hospitality “Chef’s Power List 2022”; Conde Nast Traveler “Global Food Map to World’s Best Restaurants 2022;” Thrillist “Best Restaurants New Orleans”; and Houston Chronicle “Best New Restaurants in New Orleans.” 

In celebration of two years, Mister Mao will showcase a celebratory anniversary cocktail available only July 1 – 31, 2023, to benefit the Southern Smoke Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency relief funding and no-cost mental health services to those in the hospitality industry.

Guests who dine at Mister Mao during July can enjoy a limited-time-only The Teaches of Peaches cocktail featuring vodka, house-made peach shrub, freshly squeezed lemon juice, peach liqueur, saline, and Angostura bitters, served over crushed ice and garnished with dehydrated Covey Rise peach. Uong, a staunch advocate for the hospitality industry, will donate 50 percent of each anniversary cocktail sold to the Southern Smoke Foundation and participate in the October 2023 Southern Smoke Festival in Houston, Texas.

Mister Mao is located at 4501 Tchoupitoulas in New Orleans (entrance on Jena Street) and serves dinner Thursday – Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)

Dat Dog’s annual Son of a Saint ‘Dog Design Contest

Dat Dog and Son of a Saint come together to appoint the next Son of a Saint ‘Dog at the 9th Annual National Hot Dog Day Celebration on Saturday, July 15, from 4 pm – 6 pm, at Dat Dog Magazine, located at 3336 Magazine Street Finalists from the community, chosen from numerous submissions of recipe ideas for the new Son of a Saint ‘Dog, will team up with a Son of a Saint mentee and create their hot dog design (bun, sausage, toppings, and all!) before a panel of celebrity judges and their mentee partners who will taste-test the hot dogs and critique them for the audience. The addition of mentee partners directly aligns with Son of a Saint’s nutrition education and culinary programming, which mentees engage in during all stages of their participation and enrollment. The hot dog that the panel declares to be the winner will join the House Specials menu at all Dat Dog locations for the next year, and proceeds from each ‘dog sold will be donated to Son of a Saint’s program dedicated to mentorship and transforming the lives of fatherless boys across Greater New Orleans. 

 The three finalists and their mentee partners will present their Son of a Saint ‘Dog ideas before mentees paired with celebrity judges who include two-time James Beard Award Winner and returning Son of a Saint ‘Dog Design Contest Judge Chef Alon Shaya, founder of the New Orleans Hot Dog Safari “Hot Dog” Bob O’Donnell, well-known jazz drummer and two-time recipient of Offbeat Magazine’s recognition for Best Contemporary Jazz Album Johnny Vidacovich, and a special celebrity judge who will soon be announced. The public is invited to watch the judges’ critiquing process and proclamation of the winning ‘dog. The audience is also treated to complimentary samples after the contest. The winner is presented the impressive Son of a Saint ‘Dog Design Contest trophy by the 2022 championBri Lack, who created the popular ‘dog, also known as “The Fiesta ‘Dog.” Returning as Master of Ceremonies for the event will be WVUE FOX 8 anchor Rob Krieger, an avid supporter of Dat Dog and the National Hot Dog Day event. The panel of judges will choose the winning Son of a Saint ‘Dog recipe during the event starting at 4:00 pm on July 15 and become the featured Son of a Saint ‘Dog on Dat Dog’s menu for the following year.

 Son of a Saint partner and favorite local brewery, Urban South Brewery, will return to this year’s National Hot Dog Day Celebration with games to win great swag and free samples of their most popular beers, Paradise Park Lager and Holy Roller IPA. The free beer is available while supplies last to event guests aged 21 and older.  

Debbie on the Levee in Rivertown Unveils New Menu Savory, Sweets & Sips 

Located just one block off Williams Boulevard at 2118 Reverend Richard Wilson Drive in Jefferson Parish’s Rivertown neighborhood, Debbie on the Levee is a charming and casual eatery with a full bar; a fun pop culture vibe; TVs to watch games or Saturday cartoons; and seating for 30 making it the ideal spot for any time of day. 

The new menu features breakfast dishes like the Breakfast Sandwich – eggs, garlic aioli, choice of bacon or sausage served atop a biscuit or toast; Bananas Foster French Toast – brioche, candied bananas, and brown sugar rum sauce; Breakfast Bowl – scrambled eggs (a.k.a. scrams), yellow stone ground grits, cheddar and bacon or sausage; and Red Velvet Elvis Pancakes – red velvet silver dollars, bacon, peanut butter, and candied bananas. Sandwiches include Grilled Caprese – tomato, basil, mozzarella, balsamic glaze, garlic olive oil, and pesto; Three Cheese Chipotle Grilled Cheese with cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, smokey chipotle butter, and hot honey; and the BBLT which stands for a beignet, bacon, lettuce and tomato, a creative twist on the classic with garlic aioli and balsamic glaze sandwiched between a split beignet dusted with powdered sugar. Sweet treats include a variety of doberge cakes from Debbie Does Doberge, mini-sized dobites, Nana Judies – named after Charlotte’s grandmother who created this childhood favorite – four beignets stuffed with peanut butter and Steen’s Cane Syrup and topped with powdered sugar.

The Debbie on the Levee cocktail program features an array of beer and wine, as well as dessert cocktails and specialty cocktails. Libations include Coffee Manhattan – rye whiskey, amaro, chocolate bitters, chicory, and cold brew; Banana Flip – butterscotch schnapps, banana, chocolate, egg, and cream; Mr. Beaverton’s Pistachio Fiasco – vodka, Cocchi Americano, Monin pistachio syrup, lemon, and Prince de Lise bubbles; and My Summer Abroad – a twist on a white Negroni featuring City of London gin, Ambrosia Aperitivo, and Dolin Blanc.

Debbie on The Levee is open SundayWednesdayThursdayFriday, and Saturday from 7 am – 7 pm (closed Monday and Tuesday). Delivery is available through Debbie on the Levee Ordering. For additional information, please visit

 Tropic Like It’s Hot: July Tiki Takeover at The Bower Tiki-Inspired Cocktails and Dishes  

This July, The Bower Bar – the indoor/outdoor bar next door to The Bower – is continuing to celebrate summer with a tropical Tiki Takeover

With a decked-out space filled with tiki decor, along with an array of tiki-inspired cocktails from Beverage Director Mickey Mullins, guests can enjoy $18 cocktails featuring a variety of Don Q rums. Specialty cocktails include Frozen Pina Colada with rum, pineapple, and coconut; Rum Mango Old Fashioned – Don Q Gran Reserva Añejo XO, spiced mango, and bitters; Painkiller – rums, citrus, and cream of coconut; Jungle Bird – rum, bitter orange, fresh pineapple, and citrus; The Audacity – rum, passionfruit, citrus, orgeat, and absinthe spray; and Hakuna Matata – bourbon, velvet falernum, allspice dram, citrus, aquafaba. Additionally, larger groups can enjoy large-format (shareable) cocktails, including Zombie Bowl – rums, fresh citrus, passionfruit, pineapple, bitters, and house-made grenadine; and Bower Bowl – a refreshing punch shareable featuring fresh juices and Don Q rums. Guests can also enjoy a non-alcoholic take on a gin fizz with the Spiritless Fizz

Executive Chef Marcus Woodham is spicing it up in the kitchen with options like Spam Musubi – sweet soy glazed spam, sushi rice, furikake, spicy mayo; Pineapple Braised Short Ribs – sweet plantains, avocado, and cilantro rice, and pickled onions; Huli Hula Chicken Skewers – Hawaiian macaroni salad, spicy pineapple; Spicy Salmon Poke Tostada – smashed avocado, shaved onions, cilantro, wasabi tobiko; and Peem’s Pad Thai

WHEN: Throughout July, Monday-Thursday 4 pm – 9 pm, Saturday-Sunday 4 pm – 11 pm.  

Tales of the Cocktail Speed Rack Finals

Tales of the Cocktail is jam-packed with excitement and drinks each year. Still, none are as thrilling as the Speed Rack Finals, which will be taking place on Sunday, July 23, at 3:00 pm at Republic Nola to kick off the wild and wonderful week with competing emerging talent while directly benefiting breast cancer research. 

Speed Rack, now in its 11th season, has long been the pilgrimage for up-and-coming female bartenders to cut their teeth in the industry before entering the extensive network of mentorship made up of the best of the best. This year is on track to be bigger than ever, with a new crop of contestants who have grown up with Speed Rack alumnae as their idols and are hungry for victory. With three out of four Spirited Awards nominees for U.S. Bartender of the Year in 2023 being part of the Speed Rack family, it is clear that the contestants are the ones to watch. 

  • Contestants: Marisela Dobson (Death and Company), Ash Hausserman, Carey Kurisu (The Wolves), Fabiana Pinillos (Dalila’s), Crystal Mendoza (The Exhibition Room), Fabiola Juarez, Kim Vo (Dutch Courage Gin Bar), Taylor Reed (Bar Loretta), Katie Auth (The Stranger), Krista Orlabeck (Pony Up  & Lazy Bird), Gigi Temprano (La Factoria), Shay Wright (Roshambo), Amy ‘Bird Lou’ Lewis (Mother Ruin), Thi Nguyen (Thip Khao), Brittany Bogdan (Mother Ruin), Tammy Bouma (Happy Accidents) Ashleigh Hehmann (Rhythm Room LA  / Accomplice Bar), Amy Jo Williby (Jones Hollywood), Loren Lyles (Ok Yaki, Revery VR Bar) 
  • Coaches: Jess Pomerantz (Smoked), Eryn Reece (For the Love of Spirits), Lacy Hawkins, Tess Sawyer (Bacardi) 
  • Judges: Suzu, Christian Suzuki-Orellana (Head Bartender Wildhawk, Drink Masters), Lauren Mote (PATRÓN Tequila, Global Director Trade Advocacy; Co-Founder Bittered Sling), Ana Castro (Executive Chef, Lengua Madre), Christine Weisman (Beverage Director, Bar Lab) 
  • Host: Vance Henderson, National Ambassador: Hendrick’s Gin

For more information about other exciting Tales of the Cocktail events, check out the schedule here.

Tujague’s Celebrates Poppy’s Drag Queen Brunch Sunday, July 30, 2023, Three-Month Summer Series Features Three-Course Brunch, Bottomless Mimosas & Lively Entertainment

 The Tujaque’s drag queen brunch was created with cookbook author, media darling, and culinary activist Poppy Tooker. Now, in its new location at 429 Decatur Street, the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans is celebrating Poppy’s Drag Queen Brunch on Sunday, July 30, from 11 am – 2 pm. 

  Taking place on July 30 and August 27, these festive celebrations will feature a three-course drag brunch prepared by Executive Chef Gus Martin, bottomless mimosas for three hours, and lively entertainment by nationally-renowned drag queens Laveau ContraireDebbie With A DCucci Licci and Starr Alexander, amongst others. 

 Prepaid tickets are priced at $70 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). The full menu for the June brunch is HERE, and reservations can be made on OpenTable  (under “Experiences”)  or by calling Tujague’s at (504) 525-8576.

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