Drinking at Cavan is a good way to get a glimpse of what it was like to visit a home along Magazine in the eighteenth century. Unlike many houses in the city that were converted to commercial spaces where you can just barely make out the bones of what was a residence Cavan still feels like a home. Original chandeliers hang from the ceilings, and though the original molding was too damaged to salvage, the owners have carefully preserved the sensibility of the 1881 property.

The upstairs bar is full of rosy hues, and the pressed-tin ceiling keeps the room feeling historic and warm As Matt, the bar manager, put it, “We want it to feel like you are visiting your grandmother’s house.” Apparently, it’s a grandmother who knows how to make a mean drink. My go-to drink there is the Alabazam, a riff on the Sidecar, enhanced with bitters. The inspiration for the restaurant’s name came from owner Robert LeBlanc’s grandfather, who arrived in New Orleans from County Cavan, Ireland at age eight and grew up just a few blocks away.

Upstairs bar at Cavan

If it’s a nice day, you can also sit outside, but I prefer the upstairs bar, where I can nosh on Cavan’s complimentary, homemade oyster crackers. They are a gesture of Cavan’s signature hospitality, and they make my cocktail even tastier.


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