History of Pat O’Brien’s

Continuing with our hurricane theme, today we are talking about the history of Pat O’Brien’s. From a humble start Pat O’Brien’s is now one of the most well known bars in the world. During Prohibition in the 1930’s a man name Benson Harrison “Pat” O’Brien made his living from bootleg alcohol. His first speakeasy, Club Tipperary, was on Royal and St. Peter Streets. If you wanted to get in you had to know the passphrase, “Storm’s Brewin”. Otherwise, you were turned away. On December 3, 1933, he renamed his bar Pat O’Brien’s.

Marketing is key

After Prohibition business was booming at the newly named bar. So much so that they needed to move into a bigger space. Pat O’Brien’s relocated to 718 St. Peter Street and it remains there to this day. There are now three bars: the main bar, the patio lounge and the patio bar. A brilliant marketing campaign for their now world famous Hurricane drink keeps Pat O’Brien’s on the must do lists of visitors to New Orleans. Want to know how to make a Hurricane? Check out the recipe here.

History of Pat O'Brien's
Courtesy of Pat O’ Brien’s

However, the drinks are not the only reason to visit. There are dueling copper-topped baby grand pianos and plenty of great live music. They even take requests from patrons! They also have a great menu from appetizers to entrees. Their St. Patrick’s Day parties are legendary. While Pat O’Brien’s is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they hope to be open soon.

The Savvy Native is a group of experienced local tour guides who were either born in New Orleans or wish they had been.

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