Carousel Bar

Image: Hotel Monteleone
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No, it’s not you. The bar is spinning. The Hotel Monteleone’s circular bartop was built on the chassis of an antique merry-go-round in 1949, and patrons make a full circuit every 15 minutes. (Just be thankful the stools don’t go up and down.) Sitting just off the 1907 hotel’s lobby, the Carousel Bar claims a long literary heritage: William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote all got into their cups here at one point or another.

Known For
  • day drinking
  • hotel bar
  • historic
What to drink
The Vieux Carré cocktail was invented here in 1938 by bartender Walter Bergeron (when the bar was called the Swan Room), who was seeking an alternative to the trademarked Sazerac. It’s made now (as then) with rye, cognac, Bénédictine, vermouth and Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters.
French Quarter
The bar can be crowded when happy hour arrives (the hotel has some 600 rooms), so venture here for a late morning or early afternoon cocktail. Sitting at the revolving bar is where you want to be; the rest of the extensive bar area feels more like a generic hotel bar.