The True Bar Behind True Detective

Bayou Gauche is a small fishing village at the end of America—a place that seems to telegraph a sort of primordial southernness.

The only bar in town, Fisherman’s Wharf, has recently caught the attention of Hollywood, becoming the centerpiece of HBO’s True Detective. Christopher Ross explores the bar behind the bar.

You’ve probably never heard of Bayou Gauche—a small, rural fishing village in southeastern Louisiana—but there’s a decent chance you’ve seen an image of it before. Most recently, it appeared on the HBO series True Detective, the coastal scenery dovetailing with the show’s haunting vision of the Lower Boot. Comprising roughly twenty square miles of lightly populated marsh and wetlands—mostly untouched by development, seemingly forgotten by time—Bayou Gauche has become a kind of holy grail for film and television directors seeking to visually telegraph an almost primordial deep southern swampland. One of the most remote towns in the state, it is surrounded by water and serviced by a single, twisting road running alongside the bayou’s edge and beneath the branches of cypress trees curtained with Spanish moss.