Said to be the oldest continuously running bar in the United States, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop was built by Jean and Pierre Lafitte as a cover for their illegal privateer activities (and perhaps slave trade) before 1772.
Jean Lafitte was a known privateer, but a hero in the Battle of New Orleans, when America forces defeated the British Army in their attempt to steal the Louisiana Purchase from America. Though local authorities squashed his privateering camp, he was pardoned by President Andrew Jackson, whom he fought alongside in the Battle of New Orleans. The Lafitte name lingers: there is a town named after him just outside of New Orleans, as well as housing projects in the 5th Ward that carry his name.
The bar is full of New Orleans folklore and is rumored to be haunted by residents of the French Quarter who died in the fires of 1788 and 1794.
One of the only surviving examples of the French Colonial style in the New Orleans French Quarter, it was named a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
Know Before You Go
On the corner of Bourbon Street and St. Phillip Street down Bourbon Street away from Canal.