Coordinates: 29°57′22″N 90°03′59″W / 29.9561°N 90.0665°W / 29.9561; -90.0665
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Brennan's on Royal Street
Restaurant information
Owner(s)Terry White and Ralph Brennan
Head chefRyan Hacker
Food typeModern New Orleans Cooking
Street address417 Royal Street
CityFrench Quarter of New Orleans
CountryUnited States
Coordinates29°57′22″N 90°03′59″W / 29.9561°N 90.0665°W / 29.9561; -90.0665
WebsiteOfficial Site

Brennan's is a Creole restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.


Brennan's was founded in 1946 by Owen Brennan, an Irish-American restaurateur and New Orleans native. It was originally called the Vieux Carré restaurant and was located on Bourbon Street across from the Old Absinthe House until 1956 when it moved to its current location.

This building, a two-story French Quarter mansion at 417 Royal Street constructed in 1795, was built for Don José Faurie and later housed the Banque de la Louisiane, the first bank in Louisiana. From 1841 to 1891, the mansion had been owned by the Morphy family, with Paul Morphy, the celebrated chess player and unofficial world chess champion, living there until his death in 1884. In 1920 William Ratcliffe Irby gave the building to Tulane University[1] and it was initially leased by Owen Brennan in 1954 to open the following year as Brennan's. The restaurant purchased the building in 1984.[2]

Because Brennan's father owned a share of the restaurant, the restaurant was eventually inherited by Brennan's siblings as well as his children. In 1973, disagreement within the Brennan family over the expansion of the restaurant line led to a split into several different corporations, with the original New Orleans restaurant being wholly owned by Brennan's widow and children, and other restaurants in New Orleans, Houston, and Dallas, the Brennan Family Restaurants, being owned by Brennan's siblings and their children.

Although the section of Royal Street in the French Quarter was spared the flooding suffered by most of the city in the levee failures during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Brennan's did suffer significant damage, largely due to the contents of second-story refrigerators melting and seeping onto lower floors. The restaurant's extensive wine cellar lost temperature control, ruining the entire wine collection.

Following an extensive renovation, Brennan's re-opened on June 8, 2006. Brennan's closed on June 28, 2013.[3] The new owners of Brennan's, Terry White and Ralph Brennan (a cousin of the former owners) purchased the building and the business at auction(s) after the former owners ran into financial trouble. For more than a year, the historic building (circa 1795) underwent an extensive renovation.[4] The new Brennan's was unveiled in the fall of 2014.

Cultural references[edit]

Brennan's was featured in a season two episode of Ghost Hunters in which the TAPS team investigated claims of paranormal activity.[5][6] Rush Limbaugh once stated (in a New York Times interview with Maureen Dowd) that he would sometimes charter a jet and go somewhere for dinner, adding Brennan's was his "all-time favorite restaurant."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vogt, Lloyd (2002). Historic Buildings of the French Quarter. Gretna: Pelican Publishing Company. p. 82. ISBN 156554997X.
  2. ^ "Breakfast at Brennan's" Cookbook
  3. ^ Huffman, Jon (June 28, 2013). "Historic Brennan's Restaurant closed". Tribune Broadcasting Company. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  4. ^ MacCash, Doug (8 July 2014). "Ralph Brennan unopposed in purchase of Brennan's restaurant name". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Ghost Hunters (TV series)". SciFi Channel. Season 2. Episode 203. 2005-08-10.
  6. ^ Hawes, Jason; Wilson, Grant; Friedman, Michael Jan (2007). "The Haunted Dining Room February 2005". Ghost Hunting: True Stories of Unexplained Phenomena from The Atlantic Paranormal Society. New York: Pocket Books. pp. 159–161. ISBN 978-1-4165-4113-4. LCCN 2007016062.
  7. ^ Dowd, Maureen (24 March 1993). "AT DINNER WITH: Rush Limbaugh; A Shy, Sensitive Guy Trying to Get by in Lib City". The New York Times.

External links[edit]