Feb. 8, 2013 By Bill Parry
Skillman Ave. will never be confused with Bourbon St., but Saturday afternoon it will be alive with the sights, sounds and tastes of the Big Easy.
A number of Skillman Avenue establishments have organized a Mardi Gras Bar & Restaurant Hop from 3:30pm until late that evening. Participants are being asked to register at The Dog and Duck, located on the corner of Skillman and 46th St., between 3:30 and 5pm.
Part of the lure is that there will be half-price beer specials. To be eligible attendees are required to donate $5 or provide canned goods upon registering, which will go to the St Raphael’s food pantry.
The Skillman Project, which is organizing the event, is a business association comprised of nine bars and restaurants stretching from 46th St. to 52nd St.
The businesses will serve pints of Abita, a popular New Orleans craft beer, as well as Narragansett as part of the beer special.
In the spirit of Mardi Gras, music will play a large role in the event. Ray’s Brass Band will perform Dixieland jazz in each venue between 5pm and 8pm. Other groups will perform later in the evening. For instance, Marina Meyler, a Celtic singer, will appear at Murphy’s Oyster Bar, while The Alehounds, a folk music band, will play at The Brogue.
New Orleans food will also be part of the Skillman Ave. Mardi Gras.
“We’re serving a main dish of jambalaya with a special dessert made of banana bread pudding with a bourbon sauce,” said Tim Chen of Quaint Bistro.
Meanwhile, The Dog and Duck will serve a special duck gumbo, while the other venues are expected to offer other Louisianian fare.
“These crawls are also cultural: they’re not just drinking sessions,” said Jean Clancy, a co-owner of Claret Wine Bar.
This will be The Skillman Project’s 4th pub crawl/event in the last18 months. At a planning session on Wednesday afternoon, the group said it aims to put events like this four times per year.
“We do it once a season,” said Justin Costello, a co-owner of Claret, adding that “it gets bigger each time, so … it isn’t getting old.”