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Latitude 29 Grand Opening: Bienville House’s New Restaurant

Walk into Latitude 29 prepared for a good, old-fashioned game of eye spy.

Do you spy the ship’s bow that doubles as a host stand? Real starfish suspended for eternity in a stained-glass lamp? How about an expanse of textured seagrass (hint: look up)?


Sip your Latitude 29 cocktail (like the Mississippi Mermaid pictured here) overlooking the courtyard pool at Bienville House. (Photo courtesy Annie Quast)

Authentic tiki carvings and totems line the walls, and nautical elements like buoy-esque lights create a believable Polynesian atmosphere: we’re not in New Orleans anymore.

Latitude 29 celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday, and Bienville House couldn’t be more excited about this incredible bar and restaurant, housed right within our hotel.

The work of the world’s leading tiki expert, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, this restaurant is authentic, fun, and full of special details. We walked through our lobby and into the restaurant for a closer look (and taste) at all things Latitude 29. Here’s what we found:

The Drinks

Our waiter guided us toward the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver to start. This creamy, frothy concoction gets its flavor from a honey-butter-spice mix blended with passion fruit, lime, and plenty of Jamaica rum. We couldn’t help but notice the glass, a retro vessel with a cylindrical shape and banded detail. As it turns out, the glass is a replica of a rare vintage design: you can search all over the world, but you’ll only find it – and the delicious drink inside – at Latitude 29.

Another drink of note is the Mississippi Mermaid. Presentation alone makes this cocktail a standout: a tiny, plastic mermaid (perfectly kitschy) sits on the rim with a tamarind candy balanced on her tail. You’ll find notes of tamarind in the drink as well, alongside allspice, lemon, and vodka. The effect is festive without any cloying sweetness: spicy and delicious.

The Food

Chef Chris Shortall created the “PolynAsian” menu – one that beautifully complements traditional tiki cocktails. Shrimps in blankets were the starter of choice. We loved how the giant shrimps (with the heads on) were a subtle nod to New Orleans-style crawfish; the sweet-and-sour dipping sauce cut through the rich flavors of the outer won-ton pastry.

Perhaps our favorite dish of the day was the Loco Moco – an absolute must-try. The dish has its roots in traditional Hawaiian cuisine, although this version is made with sumptuous ground filet rather than pork. Fashioned into a patty and sandwiched between savory mushroom rice and a fried egg, the filet is topped with shitake mushrooms and a sprinkling of green onions. As for the taste? Shepherd’s pie meets stir fry: ultimate comfort food with subtle Asian flavors.

Berry’s wife, Annene, has long been a fan of this traditional Hawaiian dish. “I joked to my husband that it’s the most expensive Loco Moco ever,” she says. “Someone had to build a restaurant to make it for me!”

 The Atmosphere

On an unseasonably cold day, we were grateful that Latitude 29 could take us through time and space to a 1950s tiki utopia. From retro music to staff outfitted in Hawaiian shirts, the playful mise en scene was immersive: we felt completely transported. Despite the vintage vibe, however, the space is technologically advanced. Latitude 29 doesn’t feel like such a throwback when you’re charging you’re phone in an outlet (available in each booth) and posting photos to Instagram in real time. #yum.

For unbeatable access to Latitude 29, book now at Bienville House.

Enjoy Music and a Healthy Heap of (Vegan) Gumbo

The Jazz and Heritage Foundation has a reputation for spotlighting important, New Orleans-centric music throughout the year. Just a few weeks ago, residents celebrated Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival, and April always draws a major crowd for Jazz Fest. This weekend, the Foundation is hosting yet another event that pairs the authentic sounds of New Orleans music with its iconic cuisine: Treme Creole Gumbo Fest starts this Saturday (Nov. 8) in Armstrong Park.


The Treme Brass Band is one of several live music acts playing at Treme Creole Gumbo Festival. (Photo courtesy Paul Broussard on Flickr)

Running from 11 a.m. until 7:15 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, the festival will feature some of the finest brass music in the city, including the Treme Brass Band, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Band, and the Soul Rebels. In a fun cross-section of Jazz and Heritage Foundation events, the festival will also feature the winners of the foundation’s annual “Class Got Brass?” high school band competition.

While brass music treats your ears, you can indulge in another classic New Orleans offering: gumbo. The festival will see several amazing area restaurants serving up their signature gumbos, filled with meats, seafood, rich broths, and plenty of flavor.

For the second year, festival organizers are also hosting a vegan gumbo competition, where participating chefs must dream up a gumbo completely free of any animal products (including meat-based stocks). Audience members can purchase samples of each gumbo and vote for their favorite – and if you find one worth recreating, you can do so at home! After the festival, each recipe will be available on the Jazz and Heritage Foundation website.

Another exciting addition to this year’s festival is the fusion of the children’s area and the arts market. Parents can peruse handmade artwork and wares while their kids stay engaged with a series of creative workshops.

Saturday’s lineup will give children the chance to make a nature collage card, stitch, screen print, and create rhythm makers with the help of local artists leading each workshop. On Sunday, children can attend workshops to make prints, jewelry, castanets, and more.

Bienville House is just a 15-minute walk from the park, providing our guests with a uniquely New Orleans way to spend their afternoon this weekend. Book now to enjoy Treme Creole Gumbo Fest in addition to all the excitement of the French Quarter.

Get the Scoop on Latitude 29

We’re gearing up for our Latitude 29 launch happening soon, and we couldn’t be more excited! Over the past few weeks, we’ve had several exciting updates. Take a look at what’s been happening as we finalize the details of Latitude 29.


Monday was a busy day for us. The Fire Marshall visited our location to ensure that all equipment is installed and in working order, and both our contractor and lead architect were on hand to address questions and comments. We also had a reporter from the Times-Picayune drop by, setting the tone for other press and publicity folks who visited throughout the week.

In addition to stream of inspectors, friends, and acquaintances who’ve dropped by throughout the week, Latitude 29 also caught the eye of Eater, the online food and nightlife magazine with extensions in major cities like New York and Los Angeles. Their article, “Rise of the Zombie King,” profiled Jeff “Beachbum” Berry as he steps into his new role at Latitude 29.

As the piece details, not only is Berry working on his own restaurant (we couldn’t be more excited!), but this famed Tiki historian has also influenced the menus and even the very existence of other Tiki bars across the country.

Take, for example, Three Dots and a Dash, the famed Tiki bar in Chicago. The name, as it turns out, is a reference to a long-lost drink that Berry uncovered and decoded as part of his endless fascination with Tiki culture.

We can’t wait for visitors to enjoy Latitude 29 for themselves and try the authentically Polynesian creations so characteristic of Berry’s life’s work. While we can’t give too much away, let us say this: the phrase “simple syrup” is a misnomer when Berry is involved. His nine-ingredient simple syrup – which will sweeten up Latitude 29’s Professor Remsberger Punch – offers a glimpse into the meticulous, delicious world of “Beachbum” Berry.

Stay tuned for more updates about Latitude 29, and book your stay at Bienville House for prime access to this hot, new restaurant.

Halloween Happenings in New Orleans

On any given day, New Orleans offers a bustling social calendar packed with things to do, but with Halloween happening on a Friday night, you can bet there’s even more to check out than usual. Take a look at our list Halloween happenings in New Orleans – both on the day of and throughout the weekend.

Voodoo Experience

This three-day festival kicks off on Halloween and runs through Sunday. Major headliners like Outkast and the Foo Fighters are sure to draw substantial crowds to the City Park festival grounds. Expect vivacious live music, installation art studding the venue, and an arts market with jewelry and other handmade wares. “Foodoo” is also available for hungry revelers: choose dishes from restaurants like Bratz Y’All, Woody’s Fish Tacos, and Antonio’s Italian Restaurant.


Voodoo Experience kicks off on Halloween in City Park. (Photo courtesy of Dan Merino on Flickr)

Halloween Parade

French Quarter bar Molly’s at the Market will host its 19th annual Halloween Parade, cruising down Decatur at 6 p.m. on Oct. 31. The Irish bar, also on Decatur, is famous for its Frozen Irish Coffee and (perhaps more appropriately for Halloween) its Bloody Mary. Krewe of Boo parades through the Quarter the night before at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 30.

Haunted Houses

Locals are split on which is scarier, but both The Mortuary Haunted House and House of Shock are prime choices if you’re looking for a horror-filled haunt. The Mortuary, housed in a real, 100-year-old house, has a zombie theme while House of Shock combines elements of pyrotechnics and live entertainment for an incredibly believable scare in its final year.

Family-Friendly Events

Can’t wait until Halloween? The next few days present several chances to don your costume. Boo at the Zoo runs from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Audubon Zoo on Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26. Kids and families can enjoy trick-or-treat houses, a ghost train, concessions, and candy at the event. The Audubon Society will also host Crawloween at the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. This event will feature plenty of creepy crawlies, pumpkins filled with insects, and a “Guess How Many Maggots are in the Jar” contest.

Our location in the French Quarter offers quick, seamless access to several of these events: the parades and Crawloween are within walking distance, and Voodoo Experience is accessible via street car. Book now to experience a New Orleans Halloween at one of the city’s most iconic hotels.

Dance and Dine at Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival

When people think “New Orleans,” they think jazz and jambalaya, but this weekend, blues and barbecue is the more accurate pairing. The Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival starts Friday in Lafayette Square, a park within the Central Business District just a few blocks from Bienville House. Running through Sunday, Oct. 19, the event features a variety of musicians and foods that will add spice and soul to your weekend. Here are some of the highlights the fest has to offer:


Louisiana Blues has remained one of the most recognizable genres out our state. Adding jazz characteristics and Caribbean influences to classic blues, New Orleans Blues rose to fame in the 1940s and ‘50s as a prominent sub-genre, adding a new sound to our jazz-heavy city. Blues and BBQ Festival celebrates our rich – though not always recognized – blues history with a lineup of prominent musicians.

lafayette square

Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival will take place in Lafayette Square this weekend. (Photo courtesy Nelo Hotsuma on Flickr.)

Local blues guitarist Little Freddie King performs on Friday, and Anna Popovic closes the festival that evening. Originally from Serbia, this singer/guitarist exemplifies the international reach of the blues sound born out of the American Delta. Other standouts throughout the weekend include Los Lobos, Denise LaSalle, and Valerie June.


Just like the blues, barbecue often plays second fiddle to Creole cuisine in New Orleans. At the festival, however, visitors can expect a wide selection of dishes from local restaurants, including cochon de lait po’boys from Walker’s BBQ and pork and slaw tacos from Squeal. With more than a dozen gluten-free options available, as well as options for vegetarians and vegans, everyone can enjoy a helping or two of smoky, sweet flavors.

Arts and Crafts

Every year, the festival chooses 35 local and regional artists to sell their wares at the event. Visitors can peruse the booths and purchase handmade items like soap, pottery, silverworks, wooden mirrors, and more. Check out a complete list of vendors and view a slide show of select vendors’ work to get a head start on what to buy.

If you’re looking for hotel options for this fun and free event, book now at Bienville House. We have rooms that include access to amenities like a complimentary breakfast and heated saltwater pool – not to mention we’re within walking distance to the festival.

Reel in Southern Flavor at the Louisiana Seafood Festival

If your weekend plans don’t include chowing down on the freshest seafood this side of the Mississippi, they should: Louisiana Seafood Festival runs from Oct. 10-12 at the festival grounds in City Park.

The festival features a savory parade of seafood-centric dishes from some of the area’s most beloved restaurants. Sample Pontchartrain shrimp pasta dressed in a decadent Alfredo sauce from Blue Crab, savor the hearty crunch of a fried shrimp BLT po’boy from Galatoire’s, or delight the senses with the salty-sweet combination of redfish beignets from Royal House.


Redfish Beignets

Deep-fried redfish beignets from Royal House are just one of many delicious choices at the Louisiana Seafood Festival. (photo: courtesy Yelp Inc. on Flickr)


Distinctly Louisiana proteins show up on the menu (alligator, anyone?) alongside globally inspired dishes like shrimp quesadillas and Asian-style tuna.

Running from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, the festival also includes a constant flow of music. With bands taking the stage practically around the clock, guests can look forward to musicians like horn powerhouse Brass-A-Holics and Louisiana native Mark Broussard, who will treat audiences to his signature style of “Bayou Soul.”

Of course, nothing accompanies a delicious meal and music quite like a handcrafted cocktail. While your drink selections at the Seafood Fest will be limited (though nonetheless delicious – try the watermelon lemonade from Café Reconcile), keep in mind that our new Bienville House restaurant, Latitude 29, is opening soon with plenty of exotic cocktails to quench your thirst.

Channeling vintage Tiki décor and drinks into an Asian-influenced dining experience, cocktail craftsman Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is at the helm of Latitude, opening later this fall inside Bienville House. Executive chef Chris Shortall is developing a menu that draws on Asian flavors to complement the layered, fruity notes of authentic Tiki cocktails.

Our Bienville House location offers quick access to the festival via cab, car, or streetcar. Interested in a last-minute reservation? We still have rooms available! Book now to enjoy the French Quarter and fresh seafood together: a perfect New Orleans pair.

Haunted New Orleans

New Orleans is one of the spookiest and most haunted cities in the United States

Ghosts sightings, haunted hotels, abandoned buildings and murder scenes are just a few of the many secrets Haunted New Orleans holds. In celebration of October, we have listed some of New Orleans’ best paranormal activities to help you get the perfect scare out of your next New Orleans experience.

Haunted History Tours

Walking through the French Quarter at night is in itself a spooky activity. However, walking through this iconic neighborhood with one of New Orleans’ infamous French Quarter Phantoms Ghost Tours or Haunted History Tours will help you get the full effect. These tours bring visitors all around a historical and haunted New Orleans that not even locals know about. Some tours even offer cemetery ghost tours! While becoming wrappedcemetery2 up in these spooky stories, you might even come across one of New Orleans’ famous ghosts.

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

Also among the most haunted French Quarter locations is the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. This museum was home to America’s first licensed pharmacist, who was known for having performed illegal experimental surgeries on women. The museum is filled with all of his past tools and other voodoo potions. It is said the pharmacist still haunts the 3rd floor of the building.

Haunted Houses

If you’re looking to get your adrenaline really pumping, visiting one of New Orleans’ spooky haunted houses will do the trick! Some of the most famous include The Mortuary and House of Shock. Both offer a gruesome experience unlike other haunted houses. At the end you might find yourself being chased by a dead man holding a chain saw.

Lalaurie Mansion

Not only is haunted New Orleans filled with paranormal activities, it is also home to famous gruesome murder scenes. Fans of American Horror Story: Coven will recognize one of these famous locations, the Lalaurie Mansion. This Royal Street house dates back to 1832. When the Lalaurie family lived there, the house caught fire and inside firefighters found a torture chamber filled with slaves that Mrs. Lalaurie had been brutally torturing for years.

Although the hauntings of New Orleans offer a scary side of the city, they come hand-in-hand with its rich history. To get the best of your spooky October, plan a trip to haunted New Orleans and get the full paranormal experience with us at Bienville House. Book your stay with us today!

Latitude 29

Jeff Berry’s Latitude 29 is Bound for Success

Jeff "Beachbum" Berry shows off one of Bosko Hrnjak’s hand-carved pieces that will be adorning the walls of Latitude 29.All the details on Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s new restaurant, Latitude 29, have officially been released. With a very impressive staff behind him, Jeff Berry is set to make Latitude 29 a New Orleans success! Because of the amazing staff, perfect French Quarter location and refined dining, Latitude 29 is the talk of the town.

Among this impressive staff are bartenders Hadi Ktiri and Brad A. Smith, and Sous Chef James Rivard in the kitchen! All of these employees have the experience one needs to make a great French Quarter restaurant and bar with amazing cocktails.

Hadi Ktiri has past experience working at beloved French Quarter bar, French 75. Since his days at the French 75 bar, Ktiri worked as Food and Beverage Supervisor at the Roosevelt Hotel. Eager to get back behind the bar, Ktiri is a great addition to this upcoming New Orleans establishment.

Ktiri will be working alongside Brad A. Smith, a New Orleans Bywater legend. Known best for his acclaimed cocktail program for the bar at Maurepas, Smith will be another great addition to the Latitude 29 team!

Jeff Berry knew what he was doing when he chose New Orleans native James Rivard to be the new Sous Chef at Latitude 29. With an impressive past working at Upperline Restaurant and Stein’s Deli, Rivard has also worked alongside Latitude 29’s Executive Chef Chris Shortall at Shortall’s BBQ.

Having previously thought a French Quarter location was unobtainable, Jeff Berry and wife Annene Kaye had given up on the idea of finding a spot in the French Quarter for their upcoming restaurant.

Berry explained, “We’d stayed at the hotel more than once and hosted a rum dinner at Iris way back in 2008, so we knew how amazing it was, and we felt an immediate affinity for Mr. Caputo.”

Latitude 29 will be preparing several varieties of ribs, including the savory flavored petit-cut pictured here.

The restaurant will have a wide variety of cuisines with a great Tiki ambiance. Latitude 29 will be preparing several varieties of ribs, including the savory flavored petit-cut pictured above. The menu will also feature plenty of vegetarian options as well.

The restaurant and bar will be open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday (3PM to 11PM on week days and 11AM to 11PM on weekends). Located in our very own Bienville House, book your visit today and explore the uniqueness that is Latitude 29 in late October.


New Restaurants in New Orleans Opening This Fall

There has been a bundle of new restaurants in New Orleans to open this year throughout the city, all with different styles and tastes. New Orleans is known for producing some of the most delicious foods in the country, and with each passing year, more and more restaurants are proving that reputation to be true.

So far in 2014 New Orleans has seen many new tasteful surprises all over the city. Among these new restaurants are Milkfish, Root Squared, Pizza Domenica, Del Fuego, Seed and several others. Although 2014 is slowly coming to an end, the continuous streak of new restaurant openings has yet to die down!

New Orleans Fall Restaurant Openings

This October Jeff Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 will be opening. The New Orleans restaurant is located here in our very own Bienville House where Iris was previously located.

Beachbum Berry

Jeff Berry [Photo: Facebook]

Managed by Berry and wife Annene, the restaurant will be serving an Asian-inspired menu created by Twelve Mile Limit’s very own Chris Shortall. The restaurant is set to open the third week of October, so let the countdown commence!

Also opening this fall in New Orleans is Boiree, which promises to be primarily a daiquiri and wing restaurant, but will also be serving “elevated street food.” The restaurant will be located in the current location of Boucherie.

These new restaurant openings this fall are bringing new and exciting tastes to the city of New Orleans. Book your stay at Bienville House now so you can be one of the first to try Latitude 29 when it opens.

Voodoo Fest 2014 in New Orleans

New Orleans is known for many things: one of them being the “Most Haunted City in the Country.” New Orleans is also considered to be a city of life-changing live music festivals. If you are a fan of both, there is only one weekend a year that combines both experiences for a three day, musically-enhanced paranormal weekend commonly known as Voodoo Fest.

New Orleans Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

New Orleans Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience has grown to become one of the city’s most attended music festivals, second only to Jazz Fest. The combination of big music headliners from around the world, art installations throughout the festival grounds, and the hundreds of costumed attendees that are seen at Voodoo Fest allow for an ambiance unlike any other.

Put on your spookiest costume and get your tickets for this New Orleans Halloween experience. This year, Voodoo Festival takes place October 31, November 1st and 2nd, 2014.

The Voodoo Festival 2014 lineup includes headliners such as the Foo Fighters, Outkast, Skrillex, Arctic Monkeys, Zedd, Pretty Lights, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Slayer, plus many other jaw dropping performances. The three day festival also includes art installations throughout the festival grounds, plus a marketplace of local artists throughout the weekend.

New Orleans Voodoo Festival goers will be experiencing the supernatural activities of Halloween while Worshiping the Music under City Park’s majestic Oak trees.

Looking to Experience the Music at Voodoo? A room at the Bienville House puts you just a streetcar ride away from this event as well as providing you with a historical New Orleans haunted stay. Book your room today.