Huey The Kingfish Long was governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932, later serving as the state’s U.S. senator and even running for President. He was a populist with a big personality, famous for his slogan Every man a king. He was also a big fan of drinking. During his tenure as governor during Prohibition, he was asked by the mayor of Atlanta what he was doing to uphold the Eighteenth Amendment. Long replied, Not a damn thing.
In particular, he was a fan of drinking at the Sazerac Bar in New Orleans. So much so that he purportedly had Airline Highway built so he would have a straight shot from the state capitol in Baton Rouge to the bar. He even took the Sazerac’s bartenders with him on trips in order to educate bartenders in New York about the proper way to make a Ramos Gin Fizz.
The Kingfish Bar is a tribute to its namesake’s personality. His portrait dominates the bar, and the menu reflects the kind of drinks Long would have enjoyed, like a French 75 and Mint Julep, as well as classics with a twist like the Amelia Earhart, the bar’s version of the Aviation. The bartenders are a treat. Even when the crowd is deep, they remain a friendly bunch, keeping the chaos well managed and turning out consistently well made drinks at a bar whose surface is covered with wine cork sections, a nod to its robust wine list. The bar is often busy, and the lively crowd would have suited Long. I can just seen him in his white suit, sipping a Ramos Gin Fizz under the ceiling fans’ gentle breeze. It would be fitting for him to hold court in a bar, a place where every man (and woman) can be a king.