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A Look Inside Brennan's, Now Open on Royal Street

Ralph Brennan shows Eater around his $20+ million dollar revamp of the New Orleans institution.

In case you haven't heard, Ralph Brennan and Terry White's highly-anticipated $20+ million dollar revamp of Brennan's is now open and awaiting your viewing pleasure in the legendary Big Pink building at 417 Royal. Yes, the French Quarter's most iconic 16,000 square feet of restaurant is all gussied up with about 350 seats, a handful of taxidermy, and enough Rex trinkets to blow your memaw's mind. Add in new super chef Slade Rushing, a crazy meets classic bar program that includes champagne sabering, and you're pretty much looking at a fool proof date night or family breakfast destination.

The upstairs floor plan essentially remains the same, but the rooms have all been dramatically redecorated, while the downstairs has been opened up into a very inviting new dining mecca. Ralph Brennan calls the addition of the downstairs dining area facing Royal Street the "most exciting" change the building has undergone.

Here, now, a look inside. Click through the photos to read Ralph Brennan's thoughts on the new rooms, and check out the main changes below.


The Morphy Room: This room originally started out as just a parlor named after/inspire by famed chess player Paul Morphy, until Brennan's partner Terry White mentioned that he wanted a place to drink before and after having dinner on the gallery. That's exactly what this room is for, opening onto a small dining table on the gallery, ie. the best seat in the house.

Pineapple Room: The pineapple represents hospitality, so expect the best of service in this room available for private events. Featuring pineapples galore, including a custom-made wall paper, this actually used to be the largest room, seating 70 people, and opens up onto the gallery outside.

King's Room: Formerly the Rex Room, this rich gold and purple dining area still pays homage to Rex Organization featuring antique invitations, ball favors, and photos from the Rex archives and the Historic New Orleans Collection, with more items for exhibit on the way.

Queen's Room: A lush and vibrant blue room that honors the Queens of Carnival, featuring photographs of Queens from the turn of the last century, courtesy of the Rex Organization.


Bar: Brennan's used to have a very small bar near the entryway, but the bar has now been moved and opens up into a lot more space, featuring an entire lounge room with "egg shell" tables by a local artist, and a incredible mirror with hand-painted birds. The cocktail menu features classics and house signatures (and they have Pappy Van Winkle). The bar will serve the restaurant's full menu, as well as a bar menu during the hours between lunch/dinner service.

Wine Cellar: This room likely won't be finished until early 2015, but will then feature an 18-person cypress dining table for private dining surrounded by the restaurant's impeccable wine selection.

Dining area facing Royal Street: Brennan calls this the most exciting part of the entire revamp. "My first job when i got back with the family in the 80s was to run Mr. B's with all those windows. I didn't understand why they didn't have them here." The floor also features beautiful Mexican tiles.

Garden Patio Room: This main dining room was originally two rooms, but has been opened up, overlooking the courtyard. A new decorative trellis has been incorporated throughout the dining area. Local artist Julie Neill did all the lighting (including chandeliers/sconces) on the bottom floor.

Courtyard: The drainage was entirely redone, and the fountain--backed by a decorative art piece--should be in place this week. "We set it up so we can put a tent out there too," Brennan also notes (the courtyard can also be booked with the Garden Patio Room for private events).


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