Sazerac Company to Build Museum and Homeplace in New Orleans French Quarter
The Sazerac Company, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, owner of Buffalo Trace Distillery, A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Glenmore Distillery and Barton Brands has purchased two historic buildings in downtown New Orleans to create The Sazerac House Homeplace.
Future Home of The Sazerac House Homeplace and Museum
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The company plans to rehabilitate the five-story nearly 200 year-old buildings locally known as the Montgomery‐Katz‐Gordon Building into The Sazerac House visitor attraction and alcohol beverage museum. Guests will be able to learn about the spirited history of the iconic Sazerac Cocktail, the official cocktail of New Orleans, as well as many other original New Orleans brands, along with exploring the unique role New Orleans has played in the bourbon and rum industries and in American cocktail culture.
The buildings located on the corner of Canal Street and Magazine Street next to the Sheraton New Orleans hotel are only a few hundred yards away from the original 1850 Sazerac Coffee House site. The new alcohol museum will include a gift shop and Sazerac company offices, with a projection of 60 employees eventually working there, 45 of which will be new positions.
The buildings, which have sat vacant for more than 30 years, date back to 1848 and contain rich architectural details including wood floors, high ceilings, oversized windows, and ornate support columns throughout. As many of the original design elements as possible will be kept as the buildings undergo renovation.
“We simply could not be happier than to have the opportunity to restore such beautiful buildings to their former glory, in a perfect location, so close to the original site of the Sazerac Coffee House that will act as our future New Orleans homeplace,” commented Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Sazerac Company. “We’re excited to have this opportunity to preserve our roots, while at the same time explore opportunities to introduce our visitors to new product releases that have a special tie to New Orleans.”
Sazerac Purchased What is Now Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1992
In 1992 Sazerac bought Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, complete with ramshackle buildings, barbed wire fences surrounding the property, and an employee base which had dwindled down to 50 from its thriving post World War II days of 1,000 employees. Today, Buffalo Trace Distillery is one of only 2,600 national historic landmarks in the United States, employing nearly 500 workers, and welcoming 165,000 visitors to tour the facility each year.
Local historic preservation architects Trapolin-Peer and Ryan Gootee General Contractors have been selected to renovate The Sazerac House and plans are being finalized for the nearly 50,000 total square foot facilities. The historic renovation will start in the next coming months, and Sazerac expects the building to be complete by late 2018. Upon completion, Sazerac is projecting 100,000 visitors its first year of operation.