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New Generations of New Orleanians to be Hosted in World-Famous Blue Room and Legendery Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt New Orleans

Posted on: February 12th, 2009 by admin 13 Comments

NEW ORLEANS – Feb. 10, 2009 – Through more than a century of operation, The Roosevelt New Orleans 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.

The smell of Eggs Benedict, musical notes from horns and pianos, and the sound of laughter from receptions soon will fill the air at The Roosevelt New Orleans’ world-renowned Blue Room, scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2009.

The Blue Room – legendary with locals, visitors and celebrities – also will return to the Sunday brunch circuit complete with delights such as mascarpone-stuffed French toast with house-made satsuma marmalade, boiled Gulf shrimp, a carving table featuring the finest roasted meats and much more.

Many big-band fans around the world will warmly recall turning to WWL radio at night and hearing the sounds of the Leon Kelner Orchestra, the house band, live from the Blue Room. With gleaming chandeliers and carefully restored architectural details, the renovated Blue Room once again will host live entertainment that appeals to all ages.

“The Blue Room is a household name not just in New Orleans but across the country and even around the globe,” said Mark Wilson, sales and marketing director at The Roosevelt New Orleans. “For decades, the Blue Room was a place for family and friends to enjoy good music and food and to celebrate life’s special occasions. We’re excited to reintroduce this pastime to new generations of New Orleanians and visitors.”

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, Marlene Dietrich, and Sonny and Cher – as well as to elaborate floor shows.

In addition to hosting Sunday brunch and frequent entertainment, the Blue Room again will be available for the most special of special events, including weddings and carnival balls. For more information about booking the Blue Room for events, contact Earl Lizana, director of catering, at (504) 648-1200 or at earl.lizana@hilton.com.

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. In addition to beverages that stimulate the palate, patrons again will be able to enjoy the Art Deco-style murals by artist Paul Ninas and woodwork once held in awe by visitors.
When The Roosevelt New Orleans reopens, it will offer 504 guest accommodations, of which 135 will be suites, and 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the spacious 20,000-square-foot Roosevelt Ballroom, 12,000-square-foot Crescent City Ballroom and the 7,000-square-foot Waldorf Astoria Ballroom, along with a total of 23 distinctive meeting and event rooms. For more information, visit www.waldorfastoriacollection.com.

Memories of the hotel’s meeting rooms, the Blue Room and the Sazerac Bar can be logged at the hotel’s blog site: www.therooseveltneworleans.com/blog.

Zagat Includes The Roosevelt New Orleans in its 2009 Guide

Posted on: January 20th, 2009 by admin No Comments

Zagat Survey released the results of its 2009 New Orleans travel survey recently. The guide, in its 20th edition, covers 704 of the city’s finest restaurants, nightspots, attractions and hotels, based on input from 3,877 local consumers.

‘The guide was created to help both visitors and locals rediscover the uniquely rich cultural and culinary assets of New Orleans,’ said Tim Zagat, Zagat Survey CEO. ‘In today’s economy, we’re anticipating an increase in domestic travel, and we encourage Americans to experience what this most distinctive city has to offer.’

In light of the economic storm battering the nation, tourists and locals alike appreciate the fact that New Orleans’ renowned restaurant industry offers one of the lowest average meal costs in the United States: $28.52 vs. the national average of $34.31. Despite the fact that 70% of respondents report spending more per meal compared to two years ago, 41% say they are eating out more often vs. only 17% who say they’re dining less often. New restaurants show the resurgent strength of the city’s dining scene.

Since 28% of surveyors in New Orleans named Creole and Cajun as their favorite cuisines, it is no surprise that Brigtsen’s (Contemp. Louisiana) won Top Food and Top Service, while Commander’s Palace (Creole) was voted Most Popular restaurant (as it has been every time it has been surveyed) and Top Decor to boot. Best Bets for a bite at top value are at Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, Angelo Brocato and Morning Call.

In the three years since Hurricane Katrina, 97% of surveyors report their favorite restaurants are back in business. The French Quarter’s arty Cafe Sbisa and Uptown’s iconic Charlie’s Steak House finally reopened this year to the delight of loyal locals, and Ruth’s Chris Steak House returned to the city proper in fancy new digs at Harrah’s.

Showing the wide variety of cuisine available in New Orleans, there are a wealth of winners by food category, including American, Barbeque, Chinese, Cajun and nearly every region of the world.

Zagat New Orleans 2009 ($12.95), edited by Karen Hudes, Sharon Litwin, Todd A. Price and Mimi Read, is available wherever books are sold, and online at
www.ZAGAT.com

Interview with Roosevelt New Orleans GM on HotelChatter

Posted on: January 7th, 2009 by admin 2 Comments

HotelChatter has released an exclusive interview with Tod Chambers, general manager of The Roosevelt New Orleans.  The interview includes information on food and drink venues to expect, including a new restaurant by John Besh.

Lobby Centerpiece Revealed

Posted on: November 12th, 2008 by admin 3 Comments

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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.