Monday, April 15, 2024
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Positively French Through and Through

By Amanda Christensen

Sitting at the corner of Chartres Street and St. Louis Street, the Napoleon House exudes and exhibits French history in a way that “suspends you in time,” says Executive Chef Chris Montero. The historic building’s first occupant was New Orleans Mayor Nicholas Girod from 1812 to 1815, notably offering refuge to Napoleon Bonaparte, from whom the building gets its name, during his exile. Though he never arrived, the name stuck. 

The Impastato family later took ownership of the house in 1914, honoring its history by maintaining the original walls, uneven tile floors, and weathered wooden bar. Come 2015, Ralph Brennan purchased the house and has been overseeing its continuance since. 

Over the many years, the Napoleon House has played host to numerous films, artists, photographers, painters, and classical musicians—the latter of which is remnant of past classical masters throughout Europe and France.

“The European oasis feels like a quintessential corner pied-à-terre and bistro in Paris,” says Montero, noting the building’s large, French colonial townhouse design with a hipped roof, dormers, segmental pediments, an octagonal cupola with views of the Mississippi River, shallow balconies, and elliptical windows. With so much history to explore, the Napoleon House offers a one-of-a-kind haven for meetings and events. 

Three rooms, a courtyard, and the building’s restaurant are all available for event rental and buyouts. The Rosa Room can seat 30, or host 40 reception style. The Pietro Room can accommodate 70 seated and up to 135 guests reception style. The Emperor Room can seat 30 comfortably, or 40-45 reception style. Outside in the classic New Orleans-style courtyard, 70 guests can be seated for events, and the restaurant can host up to 250. Catering and dining services, along with a Sonos sound system, are also available for any event. 

The Napoleon House “… exudes European charm that begets a memorable eating and drinking experience,” says Montero, and has plenty of options for guests to connect with the rich French history in the ever-bustling New Orleans French Quarter.