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An Evolving, Revolving Bar

Carousel Bar and Restaurant

A New Orleans icon since 1886, Hotel Monteleone is a historic landmark and the only high-rise building in the French Quarter. Owned by the same family for generations, it has played host to William Faulkner, Anne Rice, Ernest Hemingway, and Truman Capote. Having maintained its unique historic character, the four-star hotel is famous for its luxury and period-perfect atmosphere.

At the heart of the property is the hotel’s whimsical Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge, where an ornate, 25-seat merry-go-round-themed bar steadily rotates around a hospitable bartender. A favorite destination of tourists and locals alike, the frequently crowded bar was in need of renovation. The space would need a significant expansion to accommodate additional guests and the carousel itself could use a tune-up.

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For over a decade, SCNZ has maintained a close partnership with the Monteleone family, overseeing multiple renovation projects as needed and providing architectural stewardship as the hotel changed hands from generation to generation. Attention to detail is crucial, as all work on the hotel is subject to the careful oversight and design guidelines of the Vieux Carré Commission, one of the country’s oldest and most active historic districts.

The renovation of the Carousel Bar was an extensive undertaking that coincided with a property-wide effort to modernize the grand dame hotel while keeping its charm intact. SCNZ completely refreshed the bar and lounge area with a dramatic coffered ceiling with a glass chandelier and new ten-foot windows facing Royal Street, opening up its limestone façade and letting light into the space.

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SCNZ added a second bar and additional seating, effectively doubling the capacity of the lounge. Our team also oversaw the refurbishment of the center bar—including maintenance of its unique rotation mechanism and the restoration and repainting of its signature themed seats.

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​For over a decade, we've come to rely on SCNZ for their problem-solving capabilities and design sensibility. Their renovation of the Carousel Bar restores a New Orleans landmark to its original splendor and allows more visitors to enjoy its offerings.

Rick Lotz Director of Engineering, Hotel Monteleone

The project also included the complete renovation of the Monteleone’s on-site restaurant. The newly christened Criollo includes brand new private dining rooms and an eye-catching expo kitchen where diners can watch their meals come together.

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The Monteleone continues to be one of the French Quarter’s brightest stars, delighting visitors looking for accommodations that embody classic New Orleans style. Criollo has received rave reviews, developing a reputation for its food and décor.

The Vieux Carré Commission recognized SCNZ’s renovation soon after its completion in 2012.

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