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UNDER 30: Happy hour at the Columns

By Megan Peck

The concept for UNDER 30 began with the simple fact that, at 27, I’m once again a student without the disposable funds I enjoyed over the last four years. As a full-time MBA student at Tulane’s school of business, finding deals and ways to save money has quickly informed most (if not all) of my decisions. Like most others of my generation, I’m always on the lookout for a good drink/food special or event that won’t empty my wallet. While eating at home and watching bad reality TV (my guilty pleasure) certainly works to save my limited funds, I want to take advantage of all that this city has to offer (putting aside the fact that making mac and cheese is a major gourmet feat for me). As a native New Orleanian, I love this community and want to explore new places and events in its ever-changing cultural landscape. My goal is to highlight bar happy hours, restaurant specials, interesting events and any lagniappe happenings that can be enjoyed for $30 or less (unless it’s extra special enough to make me splurge). So enjoy. And if you have bargain Big Easy pleasures, please send them my way, at

For my first foray in the pursuit of deals for On the Cheap, I chose a New Orleans staple: happy hour at the Columns Hotel. I never tire of the view from the large front porch, overlooking the streetcar line on St. Charles Avenue. The elegant atmosphere, set within this historic architectural landmark (designed by Thomas Sully in the late 1880s — check out the fabulous mahogany bar in the Victorian Lounge), makes it hard to believe that the happy hour drinks are such a bargain. From 5 to 7 p.m. every day, enjoy half-price house wine, house liquor and all beer. Pairing my white wine ($2.50 per glass) with the assorted cheese, meat and pate plate ($16) that I split with a friend made for a very pleasant (and classic New Orleans) afternoon.


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