The Columns is a pretty bar. You’ll be able to tell as you walk up to the 19th century private-home-turned-hotel: a white mansion with a handsome veranda that overlooks a picturesque stretch of St. Charles Avenue. You can sit on that veranda and watch streetcars rumble by while you tipple concoctions: a Ramos Gin Fizz, a Brandy Milk Punch, a Kir Royale, an Old Fashioned. Or you can steal inside to the stunning Victorian Lounge -- the origin of your al fresco cocktail. If you belly up to the bar, while you wait you can let your eyes devour the sights of the room -- the curved mahogany walls and coffered cove ceiling, the gilded bronze chandelier hanging above you. Enjoy the view. That’s the Columns’ raison d’etre.