Pat O’Brien’s, home of the Hurricane cocktail, set to reopen in French Quarter

Iconic French Quarter bar Pat O’Brien’s, known for brewing up the famous Hurricane cocktail, is set to reopen on Friday, June 26.

The New Orleans institution, and one of the country’s most iconic nightclubs, will welcome back customers for the first time in three months since the coronavirus shutdowns.

When the bar reopens on Friday, Pat O’s, located at 718 St Peter Street, will start with a limited schedule from noon to 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Pat O’Brien’s president Shelly Waguespack told John Snell during an interview on FOX 8 Morning Edition that the bar is “trying to go over and beyond the guidelines” to keep everyone safe.

The establishment is cautiously reopening at 25 percent capacity, initially only serving drinks at the outdoor patio bar. Waguespack says the bar will not serve food, at first, and will gradually return to normal operations in phases.

Waguespack also said the main bar and piano bar will remain closed initially.

“We all just felt that it was necessary to just kind of get our feet wet a little bit and learn each day how to do things better and better,” Waguespack said.

Photo courtesy: Pat O’Brien’s via Facebook

Waguespack said opening staff will consist mostly of management. Along with other serving duties, the staff will monitor the number of guests entering the bar and sitting at tables to assist with crowd control.

Other safety procedures and changes include required mask usage upon entry, hand sanitizer stations and online drink menus.

“I feel like it’s important for us to do this appropriately and smart and with the safety in mind of all of our people,” Waguespack said.

Waguespack said the bar is preparing for reopening with professional cleaning and sanitization of air ducts, restrooms and other areas. Guests can also expect a strict routine of disinfecting tables, bar tops, restrooms and other surfaces, she said.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, don’t expect those Magnum Hurricanes anytime soon.

The famous Pat O’Brien’s cocktail made of red passion fruit, lemon juice and rum was born from creativity to capitalize on a rum surplus during the 1940s. After developing the drink, they chose to serve it in a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp.

Vice president of operations Charlie Bateman said the Hurricane became one of the first specialty drinks created, and the drink has always played a big role in the bar’s business.

For more information about Pat O’Brien’s, visit the website.