941 Bourbon St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
Only a few steps away from the Lafitte Guest House is one of my favorite bars in the city. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is said to be the oldest building in America that has been transformed into a bar. Although the last few years seem to have brought in large amounts of tourists, this dark little bar still is a great place to relax and have a few drinks, while listening to the piano player in the rear. On many occasions, I’ve sat in the back of this centuries old building listening to; you guessed it, House of the Rising Sun. I really wished the saying “If these walls could talk” were true. If such was the case, one can only imagine what this bar would say. Other than the electricity that runs the register and bar area, there are no lights throughout the bar except for candles on the tables. Here, you can find your traditional Louisiana beers, mixed drinks and a concoction called the “Voodoo Daiquiri”. Not sure what is in it but after a couple, you may need a Voodoo priest to revive you from your comatose state!
The building is rumored to have been built sometime around the 1720’s by Nicolas Touze and is one of the oldest buildings in the city to have survived the two huge fires that ravaged the French Quarter. As expected, the bar gets its name from our beloved brother and pirate duo, Jean and Pierre Lafitte. During the late 1790’s and early 1800’s, the home was a regular hangout spot for the two who operated a blacksmith shop here. The legitimate business was a cover which served as a front for their less than legal privateer enterprises, which normally consisted of selling smuggled goods. It is rumored that much of the Lafitte’s profits were often hidden inside the walls of the building. Unfortunately, the treasures have long been gone, but the memories and spirits during this era are still alive and well.
|Abandon all hope, ye who drinks a voodoo daiquiri!|
|Odd statue in the small courtyard.|
|Centuries old fireplace said to be a source of the hauntings|
The spirit of old Lafitte is still said to wander throughout various parts of the French Quarter such as Pirate’s Alley near Jackson Square and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. A possible urban legend also tells of a man who was burned to death in the fireplace of the bar. It is said that when a fire is burning, you can see his eyes gazing through the flames. This may be more fiction than fact, as anyone who has visited Lafitte’s can attest that the fireplace is very small and it would have taken a man the size of an “Oompa Loompa” to fit in there. Regardless, years of haunted encounters from staff and late night patrons do exist. The bar is often a stopping point for many haunted history tours so if you happen to take one of these excursions and take a breather here, get yourself a Voodoo daiquiri and even the corniest tour guide will soon become an Oscar-winning performer!