Carousel Bar New Orleans: A Captivating Ride Through History and Cocktails

Carousel Bar New Orleans: A Captivating Ride Through History and Cocktails

New Orleans, a city known for its vibrant culture and unique charm, offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience at the famous Carousel Bar. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this historic landmark is not just a bar; it’s a captivating journey back in time. In this article, we’ll take a spin on the Carousel Bar, exploring its fascinating history, its iconic carousel-inspired design, and the delightful cocktails that make it a must-visit destination in the Big Easy.

1. The Origins of the Carousel Bar

H2: Stepping into the Past

The Carousel Bar finds its home in the historic Hotel Monteleone, a French Quarter gem that opened its doors in 1886. Since its inception, the hotel has welcomed prominent figures, writers, and artists, adding to its rich history and allure.

H2: The Turning Point

In 1949, the Carousel Bar was introduced, making it one of the first revolving bars in the United States. Its original design was that of a circus carousel, complete with vibrant colors and handcrafted wooden animals, adding a whimsical touch to the bar.

2. The Carousel Experience

H2: A Unique Spin

As you step into the Carousel Bar, you’ll immediately be drawn to its distinctive feature—the circular bar that revolves slowly, just like a carousel. Sitting at the bar is an unforgettable experience as you enjoy your drink while gently rotating, providing a new perspective of the bar’s surroundings.

H2: Historic Elegance

The Carousel exudes an old-world elegance that transports guests to a bygone era. The dim lighting, plush seating, and vintage décor contribute to the bar’s timeless charm.

H2: Celebrities and Literary Giants

Over the years, the Carousel has been a favorite haunt for celebrities, writers, and musicians. The likes of Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and Truman Capote have graced its stools, leaving behind a legacy of artistic inspiration.

3. Cocktails with a Carousel Twist

H2: Mixology Magic

The Carousel Bar boasts an extensive cocktail menu, masterfully crafted by talented mixologists. From classic New Orleans libations to innovative concoctions, every drink is a work of art.

H2: The Classic Vieux Carré

The Vieux Carré, a quintessential New Orleans cocktail, is a must-try at the Carousel. Made with rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, and a dash of bitters, it’s a perfect blend of flavors.

H2: Carousel Fizz

For a refreshing and effervescent treat, the Carousel Fizz is a delightful choice. This cocktail combines gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, orange flower water, and soda, creating a fizzy and tangy delight.

H2: Sazerac: The Oldest American Cocktail

Being in New Orleans, trying the Sazerac is a must. A potent combination of rye whiskey, absinthe, and Peychaud’s bitters, it’s a taste of history in every sip.

4. The Carousel Bar Today

H2: A Beloved Icon

The Carousel continues to be a beloved icon in New Orleans, attracting locals and tourists alike. Its nostalgic ambiance and exceptional cocktails make it a sought-after destination.

H2: Live Music and Entertainment

The bar often features live jazz and blues performances, enhancing the already captivating atmosphere. The sounds of talented musicians fill the air, adding to the magic of the experience.

H2: A Carousel of Memories

For many visitors, a visit to the Carousel becomes an unforgettable memory. The combination of history, cocktails, and the unique carousel concept creates a memorable experience that lingers long after leaving.

In the heart of the vibrant city of New Orleans, Louisiana, lies a unique and enchanting gem known as the Carousel. This iconic establishment, nestled within the historic Hotel Monteleone, offers patrons an unforgettable experience as they enjoy their drinks while gently rotating on a mesmerizing carousel. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to explore the allure and history of the Carousel Bar in New Orleans.

1. The Origin of the Carousel Bar

H2: A Rich History

The Carousel Bar first opened its doors in 1949 and has since become a cherished institution in New Orleans. The concept of a rotating bar was inspired by a classic carousel, evoking a sense of nostalgia and whimsy for both locals and visitors alike.

H2: Iconic Hotel Monteleone

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Hotel Monteleone is a landmark in its own right. The Carousel, situated within the hotel’s elegant lobby, has become a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife.

2. The Carousel Experience

H2: A Spirited Ride

As the name suggests, the Carousel Bar features a fully functioning carousel that slowly rotates, allowing patrons to enjoy their libations while experiencing a gentle, circular journey. The bar’s rotation takes approximately 15 minutes, adding an exciting dimension to the drinking experience.

H2: Elegant Décor and Atmosphere

The bar’s interior exudes classic elegance with its rich wooden paneling, plush seating, and ornate details. The soft glow of the carousel lights enhances the atmosphere, creating a captivating ambiance that transports visitors to a bygone era.

3. Signature Cocktails

H2: Toast to Tradition

The Carousel Bar is renowned for its selection of signature cocktails, each carefully crafted to pay homage to the rich cultural heritage of New Orleans. From classic concoctions like the Sazerac and Vieux Carré to contemporary favorites, the bar’s mixologists take pride in creating drinks that embody the spirit of the city.

H2: Culinary Delights

Beyond its spirited libations, the Carousel also offers a delectable menu of culinary delights. From savory small plates to delightful desserts, the food selection complements the bar’s drink offerings, making it a perfect spot for an evening of indulgence.

4. Celebrities and Stories

H2: A Celebrity Hotspot

Over the years, the Carousel Bar has welcomed a diverse array of celebrities, adding to its allure and legendary status. From famous musicians to Hollywood stars, many have graced the rotating seats of this iconic establishment.

H2: Tales of Mystery and Intrigue

As with any historical establishment, the Carousel has its share of intriguing stories and folklore. From tales of secret meetings during the Prohibition era to ghostly encounters, the bar’s history is as colorful as the city itself.

5. The Carousel Bar Today

H2: A Timeless Icon

Despite the passing of time, the Carousel remains a timeless icon in New Orleans. Its enduring charm continues to captivate visitors, drawing them into an immersive experience that seamlessly weaves together history, culture, and entertainment.

H2: A Must-Visit Destination

For both locals and tourists, a visit to the Carousel Bar is a rite of passage—a chance to step into the past while embracing the vibrancy of the present. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a cocktail connoisseur, or simply seeking a memorable night out, the Carousel promises an unforgettable adventure.


The Carousel Bar in New Orleans is more than just a place to have a drink; it’s an experience that encapsulates the essence of this enchanting city. With its rotating charm, elegant atmosphere, and rich history, the bar invites visitors to be part of its storied past while creating new memories for the future. So, raise a glass to the Carousel,where time stands still as you spin through the spirited journey in the heart of the Big Easy.


Q: Is the Carousel Bar suitable for families with children?

A: The Carousel Bar welcomes visitors of all ages during specific hours. However, please note that alcohol service is limited to adults of legal drinking age.

Q: Can I make reservations at the Carousel Bar?

A: The Carousel operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are not typically required but might be available for special events.

Q: What are the bar’s operating hours?

A: The Carousel operates daily, usually from late morning until late evening. Specific hours may vary, so it’s best to check with the bar directly.

Q: Is there live music at the Carousel Bar?

A: The bar occasionally features live music, adding to its lively and vibrant atmosphere. Check the schedule for special performances.

Q: Is the Carousel Bar accessible for individuals with mobility challenges?

A: The hotel and bar strive to provide accessibility for all patrons. Please contact the venue in advance to inquire about specific accommodations.


The Carousel in New Orleans is not just a place to enjoy drinks; it’s an enchanting journey back in time. With its revolving bar, historic charm, and delightful cocktails, it remains an enduring symbol of the city’s allure. So, step onto the carousel, let the charm of the past embrace you, and savor the essence of New Orleans in this extraordinary and captivating destination.


Q: Can you make reservations for the Carousel Bar?

A: The Carousel Bar operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and reservations are not typically accepted. Arriving early is recommended, especially during peak hours.

Q: Is the Carousel Bar family-friendly?

A: Yes, the Carousel welcomes families during specific hours. After 9 p.m., the bar is restricted to guests aged 21 and above.

Q: What is the dress code at the Carousel Bar?

A: The dress code is casual, but many visitors enjoy dressing up to complement the bar’s elegant ambiance.

Q: Are children allowed on the Carousel?

A: While the Carousel is a unique experience, children are not allowed to sit at the bar due to liquor laws. However, they can sit at the surrounding tables with their parents during family-friendly hours.

Q: Does the Carousel Bar offer non-alcoholic beverages?

A: Yes, the bar offers a selection of non-alcoholic drinks, ensuring everyone can enjoy a taste of the carousel magic.