BLAINE KERN'S MARDI GRAS WORLD
ADDRESS: 11380 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA 70130; 800/362-8313
WEB SITE: www.mardigrasworld.com
THE VIBE: Mardi Gras, ma chere!
UNIQUELY NOLA: Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World is as close as you can get to the real thing — because it is the real thing. Home to the folks who have been giving Mardi Gras its mojo since 1947, the 84,000-square-foot Mardi Gras World warehouse offers a unique event experience. Guests can tour the workshops where artists, sculptors and float builders create the legendary Mardi Gras floats.
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL! In addition to the warehouse, which holds up to 3,500 guests, the adjacent Mardi Gras Plaza, tucked between Mardi Gras World and the Mississippi River, offers an additional 11,720 square feet of outdoor space on its wooden deck. Mardi Gras World also operates several other venues in the city, including the River City Ballroom (one of the largest ballrooms in town), the River City Plaza and the historic Grand Oaks Mansion.
REPUBLIC NEW ORLEANS
ADDRESS: 828 S. Peters St., New Orleans, LA 70130; 504/528-8282
WEB SITE: www.republicnola.com
THE VIBE: Rock-and-roll hipster
UNIQUELY NOLA: It's no surprise that one of the city's coolest event venues is located in the heart of the historic and uber-hip Warehouse District. Housed in a former coffee exporting facility turned movie set (Oliver Stone's “JFK” was filmed there) turned rock club, Republic New Orleans' latest incarnation as a live music and event venue offers 7,500 square feet of event space that can accommodate up to 800 guests.
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL! Comprising three separate but interconnected rooms — the Main Room, the Mezzanine and the Artists Room — the space incorporates design elements from its colorful history, including art deco murals, chandeliers, exposed beams and a slate-topped bar. Rental rates are $550 per hour, which includes an on-site planner and logistics manager. Amenities include a stage, a projection screen, a state-of-the-art audiovisual system and even an attachable runway.
ADDRESS: 310 Andrew Higgins Drive, New Orleans, LA 70130; 504/581-4367
WEB SITE: www.generations hall.com
THE VIBE: Historic New Orleans jazz
UNIQUELY NOLA: As its name suggests, Generations Hall cele-brates the legendary history of New Orleans, specifically its jazz musicians. Originally built in 1820 as a sugar refinery, Generations Hall blends historical elegance with industrial chic, with exposed ductwork sharing space with the city's trademark filigree.
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL! The venue comprises three spacious rooms — the Metropolitan One, the Metropolitan Two and the Big Room — which can be rented separately or together. The two-level Metropolitan One room features a centrally located main bar and adjacent dance floor, while Metropolitan Two offers a central dance floor and a balcony spanning the entire length of the room. The Big Room, which is geared for live music, includes a 525-foot stage as well as greenrooms.