Our History

Ernst Café stands in the heart of the historic Warehouse District of New Orleans. This district was the commercial and industrial center of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century New Orleans. 

The Mississippi River determined the development and the use of Warehouse District. A rapid increase of batture land created by alluvial deposits occurred between 1820 and 1859. This increase supplied the city with more riverfront land than needed for the public wharf landings and dumping areas. The Second Municipality of New Orleans decided in 1851-52 to subdivide the surplus land into private lots. A public auction of the lots initiated the development of the river-front land in the suburb St. Mary.

The building, which today houses Ernst, dates from the spurt of building activity following the 1852 auction. Many years and many businesses later, the building was leased and then purchased by the Ernst brothers in 1902.

Originally founded by Joseph, William and Charles Ernst, Ernst Café has been locally owned and operated for over 100 years. 

Close to Harrah’s Casino and Poydras Street, we are the oldest continually-operated bar in the Warehouse District of New Orleans.