New Orleans - French Quarter: Pat O'Brien's
Pat O'Brien's, at 718 St. Peter Street, is one of the top top tourist destinations in the French Quarter and claims to sell more alcohol than any other establishment in the United States.
Its history traces back to Prohibition in the 1930's, when proprietor B.H. "Pat" O'Brien operated the speakeasy, Mr. O'Brien's Club Tipperary, which only admitted patrons who knew the secret password--"Storm's Brewin." When the Prohibition Amendment was repealed, Pat O'Briends legaled opened up at the intersection of Royal and St. Peter streets. In 1942, Pat O'Briend moved his bar to its current, and much larger location. Dating to 1791, the building originally housed the country's first Spanish Theater, then later became the private residence of the Deflechie Family. Under the management of Pat O'Brien, Charlie Cantrell and George Oechsner, Jr., the bar flourished here for years.
Pat O'Brien's is perhaps best known for the hurricane, a uniquely New Orlenas made from lime juice, passion fruit syrup and rum and garnished with an oragne slice and cherry. The story goes that Pat O'Brien created the drink during World War II to get rid of all the rum that southern distributors forced him to buy before he could get a few cases of other spirits. He poured the concoction into hurricane-lamp-shaped glasses and gave it away to sailors.
An old carriageway entrance carries you to the three bars of Pat O'Brien's. On the left is the main bar. On the right is the Piano Bar, with gress cushioned chairs poised around copper-topped tables and fronted by a stage with two copper-topped baby grand pianos with dueling entrertainers. At the end of the carriageway is the 4,000 square foot outdoor Patio Bar, centered around the landmark Flaming Fountain, a stone and copper design.
Vieux Carré Historic District National Register #66000377 (1966)