Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

941 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Open Now
Fri 10:30a-3a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms
  • Outdoor
    Seating
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“the oldest bar in the U.S.!”

Built between 1722 and 1732 by Nicolas Touze, is reputed to be the oldest structure used as a bar in the United States. In 1722, further building is recorded by a realty transfer set down by one Don Andres Almonester. The structure and fence are in the old French Provincial Louis XV or Briquette-Entre-Poteauxe style used in French Louisiana.

The building escaped two great fires at the turn of the 19th Century, due to slate roofing. Such slates are presently used by artists as canvases. Between 1772 and 1791, the property is believed to have been used by the Lafitte Brothers, Jean and Pierre as a New Orleans base for their Barataria smuggling operation. The legend is based on the fact that the property was owned by the family of Simon Duroche a.k.a. Castillon and the wily privateer Captain Rene Beluche. Castillon was a rather record-shy adventurer and entrepreneur. Captain Beluche commanded his ship "Spy" in Lafitte's Baratarian fleet. Although the owners of the property, Jean Baptiste Dominica Joly LaPorte probably lived on the premises, it is within reason that the Lafittes could have used the place as city base for negotiations with potential buyers of their goods. It is unlikely that a wealthy Creole would agree to meet at home on Royal Street. Bourbon and St. Phillip was probably regarded as a safe and convenient neutral ground. Like most New Orleans legends, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop is a gumbo of truth and French, Spanish, African, Cajun and American embellishments.
 

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Reviewed by
Dana Newkirk

  • Road Warrior
  • 298 Reviews
  • 344 Helpful
July 11, 2014
Rated 4.0

It's absolutely one of the coolest places to visit in the quarter. When you step inside it's like being transported to another time, and once you learn a bit more about the shops history and reported paranormal activity it only helps to heighten the mood.

3 people found this review helpful
  • 2 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
November 18, 2015
Rated 4.0

An absolute hidden gem! Great atmosphere and cozy quarters.

My husband and I had just finished a Haunted History Ghost Tour walking the streets learning about NOLA's past when we ventured off for a drink and a bite to eat. With the assistance of our tour guide and a little prior research she pointed us In the direction of Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop and congratulated us on knowing a unique spot in the Quarter.

When my husband first ordered the Obituary Cocktail, in which I read about in a Secret Guide to Famous NOLA Cocktails, the bartender laughed and said, 'trust me honey, she don't want that' and offered alternatives. My husband explained we were on our honeymoon and may never have the opportunity to visit again and reluctantly but thankfully the bartender created the necro themed cocktail; suiting to the theme of our day.

The colour of the concoction reminded me of the liquid ooze from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an intense and vibrant greenish yellow. With once sip my esphogus burned and sinuses became clear - I was warned.

We sat at a wobbly wooden two seater near the side door reading all the carved messages left from other lucky travellers who discover this site. I can proudly say I made it about 2/3 of the way through the cocktail but had to through in the towel before finishing it in it's whole.

All and all it was a great experience and credit to the staff for their patience and wilingness to make our experience unique.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
zlahdenpera

  • 6 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
April 04, 2017
Rated 5.0

Stopped here during a ghost tour. Would have stopped by either way. A must stop if you visit NOLA!! Had a Hurricane and waited around for some ghosts. Make sure you take lots of photos (especially the tree in the courtyard) in case you catch anything out of the ordinary ;)

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Reviewed by
haileywisener

  • 6 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 14, 2016
Rated 5.0

Make sure you stop in. Fair warning, a pirate ghost may unhook your bra in the ladies bathroom. I didnt make that up check the history.

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Reviewed by
susieqw3

  • 11 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
June 23, 2016
Rated 5.0

At the quiet end of Bourbon Street, this was a great little gem. A rich history that you can feel in the air, great drinks and great music!

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Reviewed by
jdinneen

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 22, 2015
Rated 3.0

Didn't put this on the list of things to do. Just wad driving around to see the area, by the way the roads suck. Saw this place and was like this was on the map so stopped had a drink, bought a shirt and liked it. Street parking took awhile to find a spot.

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Reviewed by
Anna Hider

  • Blogger
  • 1,400 Reviews
  • 541 Helpful
May 05, 2015
Rated 4.0

Full disclosure: I'm a history nerd. So of course I love that this place was maybe a pirate hangout and might be the oldest building continuously operated as a bar in America, and the fact that there might be ghosts. I also like the beer selection and the piano although the slushie drinks and general atmosphere leave something to be desired.

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Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

941 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, Louisiana
70116 USA

Hours

Open now until 3:00 am
  • Sun - Sat: 10:30 am - 3:00 am

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Street Parking
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