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Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

941 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 3:00 AM

💸 Entrance Fee

Varies

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Head to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar in the late afternoon to avoid the evening crowds; it's the perfect time to soak in the historic atmosphere with a calm ambiance. Also, try their signature drink, the Voodoo Daiquiri, but be sure to peek at the piano bar in the back room for an impromptu jazz session that's easy to miss!"

What is Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar?

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, nestled on the corner of Bourbon Street and St. Philip Street in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter, is reputed to be one of the oldest structures used as a bar in the United States. This venerable building, with its weathered brick and wooden façade, exudes a palpable sense of history that transports visitors back to a bygone era. By day, its dimly lit interior offers a respite from the hustle of the Quarter, and by night, it becomes an atmospheric haunt, illuminated by candlelight and brimming with the eclectic charm that New Orleans is famous for.

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The bar derives its name from Jean Lafitte, the notorious pirate and privateer. According to local lore, Jean Lafitte, along with his brother Pierre, once used this location as a front for their illicit piratical ventures during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Today, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is known not only for its strong connection with the storied past of New Orleans but also as a beloved local hangout where tourists and residents alike flock to imbibe and mingle.

History of Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar

Constructed between 1722 and 1732, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is a building steeped in legend and history. It is a classic example of a French Colonial "briquette-entre-poteaux" (brick-between-post) structure. Over the centuries, it survived fires that ravaged the French Quarter, a testament to its robust architecture. The property's association with the Lafitte brothers, though murky with rumors and myths, further cements its place in the lore of the Crescent City.

Throughout its existence, the building has seen various transformations, serving as a private residence, a blacksmith shop, and even purportedly as a base for the Lafitte brothers' smuggling operations. Its transition into a bar came much later, and it has been operating as a public drinking establishment since the mid-20th century. Resisting the neon modernization of many Bourbon Street businesses, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar has preserved its historical ambience, adding to its allure and authenticity.

Why is Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar Important?

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar holds a mirror to New Orleans' vibrant history, encapsulating the city's reputation as a melting pot of cultures, stories, and legendary figures. It's the tangible presence of the past, in combination with the city's notorious reputation for nightlife and revelry, that makes it an important icon of the French Quarter. This building serves as a living history book, giving guests the chance to drink in the same space where pirates might once have plotted their escapades.

Moreover, Lafitte's is an essential part of New Orleans' enduring allure as a city that cherishes and maintains its architectural heritage. It provides continuity with the past, keeping the legends of Jean Lafitte alive. The bar is also considered to be one of the most haunted places in New Orleans, which is no small claim in a city known for its ghost stories and supernatural sightings. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the stories add a layer of mystique to the experience of visiting.

Things to Do & See at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar

When you walk into Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, the first thing to do is soak in the atmosphere. Notice the ancient brick walls, the old wooden beams, and the fireplaces that have stood the test of time. Order a Voodoo Daiquiri—Lafitte's signature frozen drink—and imagine you’re rubbing elbows with buccaneers and privateers from ages past.

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While sipping your beverage, peruse the historical artifacts and pictures that adorn the walls, each telling a story of the city's colorful history. Enjoy the live music that is often playing; New Orleans is a city famed for its musical heritage, after all. Pay special attention to the piano bar at the back, where you can request your favorites and sing along as the night wears on.

Venture outside to the patio where you can observe the bustling nightlife of the French Quarter. Engage with the locals and listen to their tales—everyone in New Orleans has a story to share. And before you depart, don’t forget to make a wish or add to the legend by tossing a coin into the old well that's said to bring good fortune to those who contribute.

Frequently asked questions

What is Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar?

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, located in New Orleans, is one of the oldest surviving structures in the city and is believed to be the oldest continuously operating bar in the United States. It is named after the pirate Jean Lafitte and is a historic landmark known for its traditional architecture and rich history.

Where is Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar located?

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is located at 941 Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.

What makes Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar unique?

Apart from its age, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is renowned for its purported association with the pirate Jean Lafitte, its Creole Cottage style architecture, dimly lit ambiance, and for being steeped in folklore and ghost stories.

Does Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar serve food?

Traditionally known primarily as a bar, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar has a limited menu offering some light bar fare. However, guests often visit for the drinks and historic atmosphere rather than a full dining experience.

Are there any ghost tours that include Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar?

Yes, as one of the most famous and historic bars in New Orleans, known for its ghost stories and connection to the supernatural, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is often a stop on various ghost tour itineraries in the French Quarter.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

941 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 3:00 AM

💸 Entrance Fee

Varies

Find it on google maps