Famous Revolving Carousel Bar in New Orleans
The Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone is the only bar in New Orleans that revolves around the room.
It overlooks famous Royal Street through large fan windows and has long been a favorite of both locals and tourists.
Originally installed in 1949, the 25-seat carousel bar turns on 2,000 large steel rollers, pulled by a chain powered by a one-quarter horsepower motor. While the bar always rotates at the same speed, visitors who have imbibed for a while often claim that the bartender has turned up the motor’s speed.
In the early days of the Carousel Bar, the hotel was the home to the famous Swan Room, a nightclub where celebrities such as Liberace performed. It wasn’t unusual for the performers to join their friends for a nightcap after their shows.
The bar was renovated in 1992 when the current carousel top was added. Fiber optics were installed in the ceiling to create unique stars in the night sky and even one special shooting star was created to cross the room at regular intervals.
William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Winston Grooms (Forrest Gump) are among the famous authors who have enjoyed drinks at the Carousel Bar. Today, the Carousel still attracts celebrities, including some recent sightings – Michael Jordan, Dennis Quaid, Greg Allman and Sally Struthers.
In addition to the rotating bar, the adjoining room features quiet booths and tables where live entertainment is offered nightly at the piano. If you arrive at just the right time during the cocktail hour you can enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres from the famous Monteleone kitchen.
Two Famous Drinks Invented by Carousel Bartenders
- Vieux Carre Cocktail – (1/2 teaspoon Benedictine, dash Peychaud, dash Angostura, 1/3 shot each rye whiskey, cognac and dry vermouth – shake and serve on the rocks with a twist of lemon)
- The Goody – (1 ounce each dark rum, light rum, Orgeat, pineapple juice 2 ounces orange juice – mix well and serve in a tall glass over ice.)
Open 11 am – 2 am
We sampled the Vieux Carre (aka French Quarter) and highly recommend it. Plus, slowly rotating on the carousel added to the experience.
Links: Hotel Monteleone