Pat O’Brien’s Bar: A Legendary New Orleans Institution

For over eight decades, Pat O’Brien’s Bar has been an iconic establishment in the heart of New Orleans. From its famous Hurricane cocktails to its lively atmosphere, this historic bar has become a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history, charm, and enduring popularity of Pat O’Brien’s Bar.

The Rich History of Pat O’Brien’s

Pat O’Brien’s Bar first opened its doors in 1933 during the height of Prohibition. While it originally began as a speakeasy-style establishment named "Mr. O’Brien’s Club Tipperary," it quickly gained fame for its signature cocktail, the Hurricane.

During World War II, when liquor supplies were limited due to rationing, the bar found itself with an excess of rum. To make use of their surplus stock, bartenders created a new drink—the Hurricane—using rum mixed with fruit juices served in a distinctive glass shaped like a hurricane lamp. This creation became an instant hit and remains one of Pat O’Brien’s most beloved offerings to this day.

The Unique Experience at Pat O’Brien’s

Walking into Pat O’Brien’s is like stepping into another era. The bar exudes an old-world charm with its classic dark wood furnishings, vintage decor, and photographs that recall the city’s storied past.

One of the highlights of visiting Pat O’Brien’s is exploring the expansive courtyard—a lush and vibrant oasis away from the bustling streets of New Orleans. With beautiful fountains and blooming flowers adorning every corner, it provides a tranquil space for patrons to relax while sipping on their favorite libations.

The dueling piano show is another mainstay at Pat O’Brien’s that draws crowds night after night. Talented musicians entertain guests with lively performances featuring sing-alongs and requests from the audience. The lively atmosphere and engaging performances create an energy that is hard to find elsewhere.

The Famous Hurricane Cocktail

No visit to Pat O’Brien’s would be complete without trying their famous Hurricane cocktail. This legendary libation features a potent mix of rum, passion fruit syrup, and fresh citrus juices. Served in the signature hurricane glass, it packs a flavorful punch that has made it a symbol of New Orleans’ vibrant cocktail culture.

Pat O’Brien’s takes pride in its commitment to quality ingredients, ensuring that each Hurricane is expertly crafted for maximum enjoyment. The drink has become so synonymous with the bar that it has even inspired other establishments worldwide to offer their own versions of this tropical delight.

Beyond the Hurricane: More Culinary Delights

While the Hurricane may be Pat O’Brien’s most well-known offering, the bar also boasts an impressive selection of food options. From traditional Creole dishes like gumbo and jambalaya to mouthwatering burgers and seafood platters, there is something to satisfy every craving.

The menu at Pat O’Brien’s showcases the rich culinary heritage of New Orleans, with flavors and spices that transport diners straight to the heart of Cajun and Creole cuisine. Pairing these delectable dishes with one of their signature cocktails creates a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Forever Enshrined in Pop Culture

Due to its long-standing presence and cultural significance, Pat O’Brien’s Bar has become ingrained in popular culture over the years. It has been featured in numerous films such as "Live and Let Die" from the James Bond series and "Days of Thunder" starring Tom Cruise.

In addition, Pat O’Brien’s distinctive courtyard setting has been a favorite backdrop for countless photographs showcasing the beauty and charm unique to New Orleans.


Pat O’Brien’s Bar stands as an enduring symbol of New Orleans’ rich history and vibrant spirit. Its iconic Hurricane cocktail, lively atmosphere, and classic ambiance make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city.

Whether you’re gathering with friends at the bar, enjoying live music in the courtyard, or indulging in delectable cuisine, Pat O’Brien’s offers an experience that is quintessentially New Orleans. So raise a glass, savor the flavors, and immerse yourself in the magic of Pat O’Brien’s Bar—a legendary institution cherished by locals and visitors alike.