941 Bourbon Street, (corner St Phillip Street), New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116, United States
Tel: +1 504 522 9377
Website: Not supplied
Hours: Mon-Sun 3pm-3am
Door: Open door
Style: Dive Bar
Recommended for: Historic interest
Price guide: Value
Food: No food
Images By: diffordsguide.com
This old Creole cottage at the far end of Bourbon Street is steeped in history and atmosphere. Built in 1772, it is one of the few surviving examples of original 18th century French architecture in New Orleans. Some say it is the second oldest building in New Orleans and the oldest building continually in use as a bar in the whole of the States.
The infamous privateer and hero of the Battle of New Orleans, Jean Lafitte, once ran the place as a blacksmith's shop with his brother. Little seems to have changed since the pair of them hammered horseshoes on the anvil, and the ladies toilet facilities in particular have improved very little over the last century or so.
Authentically, Lafitte's is lit only by candles. Ancient cypress beams support the low ceiling and crumbling stucco reveals the wall's brick infill construction. The drinks here are basic - we recommend the ubiquitous Abita Amber beer- but the overall effect is wonderfully atmospheric, particularly when folk sit around the old piano and sing along.