Bar Buddies: Le Mardi Gras

This week, we decided to move back closer to campus. We ended up at Le Mardi Gras just off Walnut St.

The location: Just off Walnut is a nice place for a bar since there are multiple places on Walnut open until 2 a.m. Post-bar grub is a huge benefit and Stack’d, The Yard, and Steel Cactus will keep you fed well into the night. Walnut, as we’ve mentioned before, is also pretty easy to get to. The 75 and 71B and D will get you there from Oakland and Shadyside, while the 64 will bring you from Squirrel Hill, and it’s a doable walk from campus.

The drinks: I ordered a whiskey sour and Ariel ordered a … margarita? Not only did Ariel order a margarita at a smoke-filled dive bar, but it was the most gourmet margarita in human history, coming with fresh-squeezed lime juice. They have a pretty extensive list of drinks they make, so no matter what your drink of choice is, you will probably find it here. The fact that they will squeeze the juice at the bar is an added bonus.

The drinks were good and were also really strong. I’m not kidding about that, be careful and go slowly when drinking here. They weren’t cheap, clocking in around the cost of most well drinks at nearby bars. This being Walnut St., that is quite expensive, but there aren’t many better options nearby for cost effectiveness. A quick heads-up; you’re going to want to stop by the ATM a block away, since this bar is cash-only.

The vibe: Le Mardi Gras is a true dive bar. I’m fairly certain the only lights are the televisions and a neon sign detailing happy hour deals. Other than that, the bar is really dark. The dark hides what I assume is a massive cloud of smoke lingering over all of the patrons. Smoking is allowed in this bar, and whether that is a good or bad thing by your count, you will leave smelling heavily of smoke. For days. The bar can get crowded, and the cozy looking booths that dot one side of the bar were completely full when we went on a Thursday. This makes for some close quarters at the bar, but that’s to be expected when a bar is at capacity.

The bar seems to have an old school theme going, with a juke box in the back with a pretty extensive selection of music and a Pac-Man table near the front. It’s not a place to bring a large group of friends, but it’s a fun night out with a buddy where you can have a couple drinks and the drunken cigarette you might be craving without anyone judging you.

Lit or nah: Le Mardi Gras is quite literally not lit, seeing as there are no lights. On the other hand, strong drinks, Pac-Man, and the setup with booths and the dark make this bar a place you can spend a few hours with a friend or two, which is lit.