3 -min. read

Which came first, the city or the cool? One thing’s for sure: when an Ace Hotel crops up in your neighbourhood, you know you’re not far off being named the next hipster hotspot…

We wrote about Ace setting up shop in second-tier cities such as Pittsburgh last year; now, the brand is hoping to garner a bit of Southern soul with its latest launch in New Orleans, where Ace Hotel New Orleans opened its doors in the downtown warehouse district a few weeks back (with a dawn performance featuring a coronet and piano, no less).


This sexier little sister of the Ace family has several of the Ace trademarks we’ve come to expect – rugged interiors by Roman & Williams, a new set of stylish threads helmed by Atelier Ace, destination drinking from Stumptown Coffee Roasters – but with some added New Orleans sultriness. Early adopters can already sample Italian cuisine with an American South makeover at Josephine Estelle, the in-house osteria overseen by James Beard finalists Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman; or else head to the rooftop garden for chilled out poolside dining, cocktails and views of the city.



However, in a city that gave us jazz, bounce and Mardi Gras, it’s music venue Three Keys that we’re most excited about. This underground stage is sure to be a hot ticket during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival between 21 April and 1 May, when it will host Six Saturns: “two weeks of intergenerational collaboration celebrating the evolution of music, joy and being together”. This year’s programming features Grammy-award winning musicians Brian Blade and Daniel Lanois, with Theresa Anderson, Steve Masakowski, Nicholas Payton, Roland Guerin and David Easley, a Roots of Music Benefit with Nick Waterhouse, Sound Bytes with PJ Morton, Luther and Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and Vetiver, a Musicians’s Clinic Benefit with Hurray for the Riff Raff, plus events by Third Man Records, Ponderosa Stomp, Preservation Hall, WWOZ (and more still TBA).


If you can’t wait until the end of the month, tomorrow (2 April) hints towards the confluence of cultures that Ace New Orleans wants to become – Stumptown Coffee Roasters will open the doors of their first café in the South with a brass band performance from Roots of Music musicians, before writer Alexander Chee inaugurates the Gallery space in the evening with a reading to open his exhibition The Queen of the Night, accompanied by members of the New Orleans Opera. We’ve also got our eye on the as-yet-unnamed oyster and cocktail bar due to launch next door to the hotel in May 2016 in partnership with brothers (and NO natives) Alex and Miles Pincus and Adrien Gallo, the trio behind popular NYC seafood bar Grand Banks.


We have a feeling that Ace’s spirit of collaboration and cross-disciplined creativity will resonate in this city of tuneful discord – less second-tier, more first mates…

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[Photos: Fran Parente for Ace Hotel]

Tim Snell

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