Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge
Photography by diffordsguide.com
Words by Simon Difford on 12-Jul-2015
Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, LA 70130, United States
Tel: +1 504 523 3341
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm
Door: Open door
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar snacks
The Carousel Piano Bar opened in 1949 and is so named because the circular 25-seat island bar rotates, transporting barflies one revolution every fifteen minutes as it turns on 2,000 steel rollers powered by a one-quarter horsepower motor. It resembles a vintage fairground ride and its elaborate canopy was indeed carved by a carousel expert.
The Carousel sits within The Monteleone Hotel (the epicentre of the annual Tales of the Cocktail), originally opened in 1886 by Antonio Monteleone, a Sicilian who had run a cobbler's shop opposite. With just 14 rooms, Antonio's establishment was decidedly boutique. Today the fourth generation of Monteleones own and operate this now 600 room hotel.
The Vieux Carré cocktail, one of the most popular drinks in Nola was created in 1938 by Walter Bergeron, the then head bartender at the Monteleone Hotel. It is named after the French term for the French Quarter (literally 'old square'). This drink is vaguely reminiscent of a Sweet Manhattan and a visit to New Orleans is not complete without visiting the hospitable Marvin Allan and enjoying one whilst spinning around this whimsical bar.