The Roosevelt New Orleans made it onto Errol Laborde’s 6 reasons to be thankful list.
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NEW ORLEANS, LA—December 1, 2008 – Tales of the Cocktail, a cocktail and culinary festival celebrating the history and culture of dining and the cocktail in New Orleans, has chosen The Roosevelt New Orleans as the site of the July 8, 2009, opening-night reception for its seventh anniversary event.
Tales of the Cocktail runs through July 12, 2009.
The historic downtown New Orleans property, a Waldorf=Astoria Collection property shuttered since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, opened in 1893 as the Grunewald. In 1923, it was rebranded The Roosevelt in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt and retained its distinctive moniker until the hotel changed hands in 1965 and was renamed The Fairmont. The grand hotel will reopen in late spring 2009, reborn as a Waldorf=Astoria Collection® hotel.
The summer’s most spirited event, Tales of the Cocktail explores the history and contemporary life of the cocktail at various locations in the New Orleans French Quarter. The event welcomes celebrities, mixologists, chefs, authors and cocktail experts as presenters and special guests from around the globe for seminars, dinners and galas. Top spirits names such as Dale DeGroff, Tony Abou-Ganim, Robert Hess and Kevin Brauch once again will take part in educating industry and consumers alike about the cocktail.
In more than a century of operation, The Roosevelt served as the backdrop for many historic events and often made history in its own right. Key among plans to restore the property to its previous grandeur and appeal will be the reopening of the hotel’s famed Blue Room and legendary Sazerac Bar. In the golden era of supper clubs from the 1930s to the 1960s, the Blue Room played host to some of the best-known names in entertainment and big bands – including Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong and Sonny and Cher – as well as to elaborate floor shows. The Sazerac Bar, a Roosevelt landmark for decades, again will serve its signature Sazerac cocktail and Ramos Gin Fizz – both invented in New Orleans and made popular worldwide by The Roosevelt – among other delights.
“Hosting our opening night in conjunction with the newly restored Roosevelt is an honor,” said Tales of the Cocktail founder Ann Tuennerman. “Tales of the Cocktail celebrates the history of the cocktail, and what better way to introduce visitors to our city than with the city’s official cocktail, The Sazerac, at the original Sazerac Bar,”
The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to benefit hospitality industry members, produces Tales of the Cocktail annually. Its mission is to preserve the rich history of the restaurants and bars of New Orleans and the unique culture of dining and drinking famous to the city, while educating locals, visitors and the hospitality industry about this culinary heritage.
Tales of the Cocktail, a culinary and cocktail festival, allows the connoisseur or amateur to fully experience (taste, see and learn about) cocktail culture in New Orleans and around the world. The event’s annual components are Spirited Dinners, a Seminar Series, Cocktail Hour, Cocktail Luncheons, walking tours of the French Quarter, and classic and contemporary cocktail parties — all presented by the country’s hottest chefs, authors, bartenders and cocktail experts.
For more information on Tales of the Cocktail, visit the Web site at www.TalesoftheCocktail.com and register to receive email updates, or call 504-948-0511.
The revered Roosevelt Hotel name – which for nearly a half-century meant the finest luxury accommodations, entertainment and dining, as well as world-famous beverages and celebrities – is returning to New Orleans, reborn as a Waldorf=Astoria Collection® Hotel, opening in June 2009.
In the months to come, you can follow our progress through The Roosevelt New Orleans blog.
What to Expect
- Preview the rebirth of this historic property
- Participate in discussions about your experiences and memories
- See the guest rooms and luxury suites before the hotel opens
- Recall the celebrities who once visited the hotel
- Learn about John Besh’s new restaurant, Domenica, and the 12,000-square-foot Spa Guerlain
- Refresh your memories of the Sazerac Bar and the Blue Room, both of which will be reopened
- And more
So, have fun, and watch for the opening of The Roosevelt New Orleans in June 2009.
Find out more about the project.
NEW ORLEANS – Nov. 4, 2008 – A monumental, one-of-a-kind clock once featured at the 1867 and 1878 Paris exhibitions has been purchased by The Roosevelt New Orleans for display in the lobby of the hotel following its opening in late spring 2009 as a Waldorf=Astoria Collection hotel.
The hotel expects this antique conical masterpiece, the largest known to exist, to become the centerpiece for the restored grand lobby and a local landmark. The Waldorf=Astoria Collection is a member of the Hilton Family of Hotels.
“This clock is really a gift from The Roosevelt New Orleans to the community,” said general manager Tod Chambers. “It will signal to arriving visitors the luxury that marks all Waldorf=Astoria hotels. It also should serve as a gathering point for locals and could become the preferred romantic spot for wedding proposals. The clock must be wound by hand every eight days, so we even expect that to generate excitement.”
The timepiece was crafted by two of France’s most important artisans of the late 19th century: renowned clock-maker E. Farcot and sculptor Albert Ernest Carrier de Belleuse. Its base, which features the clock’s face and inner mechanical movements, is carved from solid onyx marble. Atop the base, a bronze sculpture depicting a robed female figure holds a scepter. Rotating soundlessly from the female subject’s hand, the scepter provides consistent motion that adds to the clock’s sense of grandeur and mystery.
From its base to the top of the bronze figure, the imposing grand clock stands at nearly 10 feet tall.
Farcot, the most well-known of French conical clock-makers, established himself in 1860 and mastered his craft over a period of 30 years, helping to popularize the unique pendulum escapement, the mechanism which controls the motion of the inner wheels.
Carrier de Belleuse was one of the most important and renowned sculptors of the 19th century, as well as the teacher of Auguste Rodin. In 1857, his bronze sculptures grabbed the attention of Napoleon III, and he was commissioned for several important national works, including his most famous piece, Torchere, which still flanks the staircase of the Paris Opera House.
European exhibitions of the second half of the 19th century were staged as a way to introduce to the public the finest examples of art and science of the day. This timepiece was featured in the Paris Exhibition of 1867 and displayed once more at the Paris Exhibition of 1878. The latter event was part of the third Paris World’s Fair, held to celebrate the recovery of France after the crushing defeat of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. Held on a much larger scale than any previous exhibition in the world, it covered more than 66 acres and attracted 13 million paying visitors.
Every Waldorf=Astoria Collection hotel features a clock with significant historical and artistic merit. “We’re pleased that the city of New Orleans will be the home to one of the grandest yet,” Chambers said. The clock was purchased through M.S. Rau Antiques in New Orleans.
In order to bear the Waldorf=Astoria Collection name, properties also must have architectural significance, unique décor and original artwork, historic or landmark status, and a reputation for product and service excellence.
When The Roosevelt New Orleans reopens, it will offer 505 guest accommodations, of which 125 will be suites, and 50,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the spacious 20,000-square-foot Roosevelt Ballroom and the 7,000-square-foot Waldorf=Astoria Ballroom, along with a total of 22 distinctive meeting and event rooms. The historic Roosevelt, first opened as the Grunewald in 1893, once again will feature the famous Blue Room and the Sazerac Bar. For more information, visit www.waldorfastoriacollection.com.