The New Order Rises
The Neutral Ground
Location: Frenchman Street, New Orleans
Built in 1815, shortly after the Battle of New Orleans, by an Irish immigrant bourgeois family. The building has been a residence, clothiers, and most recently in 1955 it was converted by the Lafitte family into a pub.
Located on Frenchman street, just past the bustling French Market, Neutral Ground is nestled in between the surrounding buildings like an old man hunched down to avoid notice. The main entrance to the pub is accessed by walking between the walls of a coffee shop and a boutique, down an arched walkway dripping with ferns and ivy to a courtyard. Crumbling brick and peeling paint are barely hidden by the palms and succulents growing along the walls, while the sounds of a hidden fountain and creaking fans attempt to negate the noise of the street.
Inside the bar it is dim despite the large windows and doorways that open onto the courtyard. Draped across the windows are curtains patterned with smiling alligators and crawfish, hanging limp in the scant breeze. The wood of the tables and bar are a dark wood which might have once been mahogany, but are now a well polished yet unimposing brown. Gas lamps flicker along the walls and a fireplace in the center of the room divides the space and provides a sense of privacy to the mismatched seating scattered about the floor. Framed antique photos of people dressed for carnival and religious icons are haphazardly draped with whimsical mardi gras beads.