Pat O’Brien’s: A New Orleans Icon of Celebration and Hospitality


Pat O’Brien’s is not just a bar; it is an institution. Nestled in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, this iconic establishment has been serving up drinks, food, and good times since 1933. With its signature cocktail, the Hurricane, as well as its lively atmosphere and rich history, Pat O’Brien’s continues to be a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

A Brief History

Originally opened as a speakeasy during the era of Prohibition, Pat O’Brien’s quickly became a favorite gathering place for locals looking to enjoy a drink while circumventing the law. In those early days, it was known as "Mr. O’Brien’s Club Tipperary," named after its founder, Pat O’Brien.

In 1942, Mr. O’Brien moved his establishment to its current location on St. Peter Street. It was here that he created his most famous concoction – the Hurricane. Legend has it that during World War II when whiskey was in short supply but rum was widely available due to trade between Caribbean islands and Louisiana, Mr. O’Brien needed to create a new drink using large quantities of rum he had in stock. Thus, the Hurricane was born – a sweet and potent mixture that has become synonymous with Pat O’Brien’s itself.

The Hurricane

No visit to Pat O’Brien’s is complete without trying their infamous Hurricane cocktail. Served in a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp (hence the name), this fruity concoction combines light and dark rum with passion fruit syrup, grenadine, lime juice, and plenty of crushed ice.

The Hurricane gained popularity not only because of its unique presentation but also due to its delicious taste that can mask the strong alcoholic content within it. It has become such an integral part of New Orleans culture that it is often associated with Mardi Gras and other festive occasions. Many visitors purchase souvenir hurricane glasses to take home as a reminder of their time spent in this colorful city.

The Atmosphere

Pat O’Brien’s exudes the spirit of New Orleans. The moment you step through its doors, you are enveloped in an atmosphere that combines history, hospitality, and celebration. With multiple bar areas, including a picturesque courtyard complete with flaming fountain, there is ample space for patrons to mingle, socialize, and enjoy their drinks.

Live music plays throughout the day and into the night at Pat O’Brien’s. From jazz to blues and everything in between, the talented musicians who perform here contribute to the vibrant ambiance that draws people from all walks of life. The sing-along piano bar is another favorite spot where everyone can join in on old favorites and create unforgettable memories.

Good Eats

While Pat O’Brien’s may be best known for its drinks, it also offers a delectable menu of classic New Orleans dishes. From Crawfish Etouffee to Jambalaya and Gumbo, their savory Creole-inspired cuisine provides the perfect accompaniment to your libations.

For those looking for a quick bite or some late-night munchies, Pat O’Brien’s also has a lighter fare menu with options like Po’ Boys sandwiches and crispy fried seafood baskets. And let’s not forget about their famous bread pudding – a warm dessert drizzled with whiskey sauce that will leave you craving more.


Pat O’Brien’s has remained an iconic symbol of celebration and hospitality in New Orleans for almost nine decades. Its timeless appeal lies in its dedication to preserving traditions while continuously adapting to meet the needs of its patrons. Whether you’re looking for a taste of history through sipping on a Hurricane or immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere enhanced by live music, Pat O’Brien’s promises an experience like no other.

So, the next time you find yourself in the Big Easy, make sure to raise a glass at Pat O’Brien’s and toast to the spirit of New Orleans. Cheers!