The Park View Historic Hotel on St. Charles Avenue overlooking Audubon Park now has a bar. The Gilded Perch opened two months ago and serves new and classic cocktails in a glamorous space.
The Park View dates back to 1884, when it was built to welcome guests of the World International and Cotton Exposition at Audubon Park. The building was purchased and fully restored by Liz and Terry Creel in 2008.
The hotel feels as if you’re staying in a friend’s home — that is, if your friend has decadent taste and hosts a bar in the parlor. The Gilded Perch gives New Orleanians a chance to venture into the hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, see the collection of antiques inside, and enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail on the patio or sprawling porch.
Bar manager William King met the Creels when he was Martin Wine Cellar’s captain of catering events. They connected over common interests while he worked an event at the Creels’ home.
“Our owners wanted to open a bar for some time, and I wanted to get into a space that was more about craft cocktails rather than big-scale events,” King said. “We met at the Park View a couple of days later, and six months after that we opened The Gilded Perch.”
The décor at the bar is certainly unique. While much of it came with the Park View when the Creels bought it, perhaps the most eye-catching feature is the stuffed peacocks that adorn the space. The Creels own a farm and breed 30 different types of peacocks, King said.
The peacocks immortalized at the hotel all died of natural causes. Now they have assumed a stately position in the hotel.
A side wall in the bar boasts a mural of two peacocks and a gilded cage, a piece by local artist and teacher Anne Smith Reeves. The bar top is made of recycled marble, and the bar itself, like the hotel, brings patrons back in time.
King said that the goal with the drinks is to show off New Orleans’ cocktail history while offering a relaxed and affordable approach to craft cocktails.
“We know that some places that serve craft cocktails can be a little intimidating to the average person,” King said. “We want to make it more approachable and like a family. We want it to feel as if you’re coming home and enjoying a great drink.”
The focus is on seasonal ingredients, such as watermelon cocktails and honey cocktails for the summer. Pimm’s Cup and a Raspberry Honeypot made with Tito’s honey and champagne are popular, and the team is in the process of planning new cocktails for the fall menu.
“We make things that we like,” King said. “We serve drinks that reflect New Orleans but also capture the creative spirit of the bar. We’re small — and that gives us the freedom to experiment.”
I visited The Golden Perch on a bustling Wednesday night where the small space was at capacity with folks staying at the hotel or just stopping by for a cocktail on the Avenue. I enjoyed a Champagne Spritz with pomegranate, the perfect libation for a summer evening.
The relaxed atmosphere is delightful, and the small bar encourages conversation about the day’s events with friendly strangers. The Gilded Perch is a lovely spot to grab a cocktail or aperitif to sip on the hotel’s porch at the beginning of an evening filled with promise or to stop in for a nightcap after dinner.
The Gilded Perch is open from Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 2 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 2 to 8 p.m.
Reporter Marielle Songy can be reached at email@example.com.