500 Chartres Street (corner St Louis St), French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70130, United States
Tel: +1 504 524 9752
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11am-7pm
Door: Open door
Style: Cafe bar
Recommended for: Historic interest
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
This charming little café bar operates within a historic building constructed in 1797 as a private home for the mayor of New Orleans and enlarged in 1821 in preparation for its role as the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's new home in New Orleans. But a plot to rescue him from exile on the island of St. Helena failed and this place never became Napoleon's house. All the same, the name stuck.
The Impastato family have owned and operated this bar since 1914 and changed it very little. The plaster walls look as if someone has scraped off the old wallpaper and not got round to putting the new stuff up. The beautiful old bar counter backed by mirrors remains, complete with a bust of Napoleon perched atop an antique cash register. Somehow, the place manages to be both darkly atmospheric and airy: the front windows are thrown open in season and there is a courtyard to the rear.
Classical music plays in the background while tourists and locals alike sip on Pimm's Cups.