The Pinnacle Guide

Cure

New Orleans, USA

This neighbourhood bar in a renovated horse and carriage firehouse has been a leader in classic cocktails and hospitality in New Orleans for 15 years.

Reservations recommended
Walk-ins welcome
Accessible venue

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

 The Pinnacle Guide assesses bars against eight areas of excellence, following a rigorous self-application process and anonymous in-bar reviews. Find out more about this process and apply as a bar here.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENDEAVOURS

Cure recycles and uses eco-friendly products that are compostable. They are always trying to find use for food waste – repurposing ingredients into syrups or saving lime husks to use in cocktails, and make an effort to work with brands that are sustainably-minded. 

DETAILS OF NOTE

Cure has been purchasing spirits for 15 years and pride themselves on holding special bottles to open years later when the product has gone or has become very difficult to find. While there is a large selection of most spirits, the bar specialises in American whiskey and is a great spot for guests to taste the more unique brands and vintages.

The Pinnacle Guide

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Cure, a pioneering establishment in New Orleans’ craft cocktail scene since its founding in 2009, continues to set the standard for excellent cocktails and hospitality. Located in a beautifully restored horse and carriage firehouse from 1905, Cure seamlessly blends historic charm with modern elegance, creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for guests to enjoy.

The design of Cure reflects its commitment to simplicity and sophistication. With custom banquettes snaking through the space and a dark wooden bar accented by a white bar front, the ambiance is inviting and comfortable. The towering library-style back bar showcases an impressive selection of spirits from around the world, carefully illuminated to create a captivating display. Sight lines are thoughtfully considered to ensure guests can enjoy the bustling atmosphere while savouring their drinks.

Hospitality at Cure is characterised by warmth, attentiveness, and a genuine passion for cocktails. The team’s dedication to perfecting their craft is evident in their regular R&D meetings to workshop recipes, ensuring a deeply curated and peer-reviewed cocktail menu. Bartenders undergo rigorous tastings and receive feedback from ownership, management, and peers to refine their creations, resulting in a menu that showcases classic New Orleans drinks reinvigorated through a modern lens. Notably, each original drink on the menu is clearly attributed to the bartender that ideated it.

Cure’s menu, changing between two to four times a year, is categorised into classics from history and the bar’s old menus, originals from the bar team, and reserve classics made using old spirits. The attention to detail extends to every aspect of the cocktail experience, from the hand-cut ice to the house made syrups and shrubs, and the team spend a lot of time and effort on sourcing ingredients, despite being a high-volume bar. Bartenders here believe drinks should be visually stunning, but only using a garnish that adds to the drink in some way.

They spend a lot of time consolidating the steps needed to make a cocktail – carefully preparing their mise en place, batching shelf-stable ingredients in advance, and creating oleos for their daily punch base using citrus peels and juices. Similarly they don’t rush their breakdown after service and allow time to accurately label, date and reset the bar – giving the team a chance to wind down together and discuss their service.

There is a great focus on staff training and development at Cure – and as well as offering a number of formal cocktail training programmes to the team, they also run an apprentice / mentor programme for less experienced bartenders. Cure is conscious that they support all types of learning styles and is careful to support neurodivergent team members, giving everyone the freedom to organise their own work flow in ways that mirror how they process information.  

Overall, Cure’s legacy as a trailblazer in the cocktail world is upheld through its dedication to quality, innovation, and hospitality. Whether enjoying a classic cocktail or one of the bartender’s original creations, guests are sure to be impressed by the impeccable service and unforgettable flavours at Cure. Whilst the bar is a cocktail destination for the whole city, it was one of the first cocktail bars to come into the Freret neighbourhood and they designed it as a space for their neighbours so they place huge focus on serving their community. 

“What I noticed about the menu, was that every original cocktail had the name of the bartender that created it in the description.That notation really drives home the fact that the bartenders at Cure are artists, and really take their craft seriously. I loved that unique touch.”

The Pinnacle Guide Anonymous Reviewer

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