Dear Julia,
In the early 1900s, my grandfather, his father and brothers owned a business in the French Quarter near the railroad tracks. They were public weighers and gaugers. They took samples from hogsheads of sugar on the steamboats and brought them to the Sugar Exchange building on Canal Street to be tested.

They climbed into railroad cars to gauge the syrup and, at harvest time, they took turns traveling to the different plantations on Bayou La Fourche and the Mississippi River to weigh the sugarcane. An old aunt told me their business was located above the Reese [sp] Candy Company in the Quarter.

Can you tell me exactly where they were located? My great-grandfather�s name was Henry Clay Bernard and my grandfather�s name was Victor Aycock Bernard.

Mary Louise Johnson
Baton Rouge

JULIA STREETAlthough your story more or less checks out, I need to point out two important details that are just a little bit off. First of all, the Sugar Exchange was not on Canal Street but was located at 301 North Front Street at Bienville; it was demolished in the early 1960s. Secondly, the candy company�s name was spelled Reiss.

Incorporated in 1883, the Louisiana Sugar Exchange was, at the time, said to be one of only two exchanges in the world to deal exclusively in sugar products. The other was in Greenock, Scotland. The Louisiana Sugar Exchange building was demolished in the early 1960s.

JULIA STREETThe James J. Reiss Company, established around 1860 as Norman & Reiss, was located at 417-421 Decatur Street. Not simply a candy company, Reiss also manufactured crackers and pasta.

Your great-grandfather and grandfather did not actually work above the candy company. According to city directories from the early 1900s, the Bernards had their offices a few doors away from Reiss at 405 Decatur (1907) and 407 Decatur (1915).


Dear Julia and Mr. Poydras,
As a former resident and frequent visitor to New Orleans, I always try to show my husband some of the places I used to frequent the first time I lived in New Orleans, in 1970.

So far, I�ve had great luck. I worked at the Playboy, which is now a Gentleman�s Club. I also worked at a very popular club called The Ivanhoe on Bourbon Street at Toulouse Street. My apartment above the Silversmith is still there but, to save my soul, I cannot find the old Lucky Pierre�s. I remember we used to go for breakfast and I think it was on the lakeside of Bourbon Street.

Also, there was also a nightclub called the Seven Seas. It seems it was bordered by Decatur Street and I believe there was an occult store next door.

Last year, I was walking from the hotel at Jackson Square to the Market. I took a short cut from Chartres Street to Decatur Street and it felt very familiar. The street was Monroe Street, I believe.

Also, is the restaurant Mulate�s in the old concert hall the Warehouse? That seems familiar. Thanks for being there.

Lynn Hummer
Naples, Fla.

Lucky Pierre�s was located at 735 Bourbon Street. At the time you were going there, it was run by Alvin N. Cahall.

Victoria Fleming ran the Seven Seas Bar, which was located at 515 St. Philip Street. A few doors away, there was an occult store, operated by Mary Oneida Toups. Located at 521 St. Philip, the Witches Workshop dressed candles and stocked books, herbs, spices, oils, roots, teas and imported wood carvings.

The little street that cuts through the block bounded by Chartres, St. Ann, Decatur and Dumaine is not Monroe, but Madison. Oh well, you were close. You did name an early president, just the wrong one.
Mulate�s, located at 201 Julia, is most definitely not the site of the old Warehouse. The concert hall was a bit further Uptown, at 1820 Tchoupitoulas; it was torn down in 1989.


Dear Julia,
When we moved to New Orleans in 1971, Corinne Dunbar�s on St. Charles Avenue became one of my favorite places to eat. It was a big disappointment when that famous eatery closed.

My question is, did she publish a cookbook and, if so, do you know where I could find one? I�m sure I am not the only person who would be delighted to have her recipes.

Edie West
Kenner

While it does not appear that Corinne Dunbar�s produced a cookbook; some of the restaurant�s recipes have been featured in other works.
Roy F. Guste, Jr.�s 1982 book, The Restaurants of New Orleans, features half a dozen recipes from Corinne Dunbar�s. Included are instructions for making Red Bean Soup, Chicken Breast Maitland, Gumbo Gouter, Oysters Carnaval, Biscuits and Sherrie Bananas. Recipes for the first three dishes are also reproduced in the Louisiana Restaurant Association�s 1984 cookbook, Chef�s Secrets from Great Restaurants in Louisiana. Neither work appears to be in print, but the Jefferson Parish Library system owns copies of both books.


Dear Julia,

The July issue of American Heritage Magazine reports a newly found first usage of the work �cocktail� that casts doubt on its New Orleans origin. It appeared in a document published in New Hampshire in 1803, 35 years before Antoine Peychaud opened his apothecary on Royal Street. Any thoughts on this?

Bruce Emerick
Carriere, Miss.

I�ve been around long enough to know that there are many explanations of the cocktail�s origins. Many involve Mr. Peychaud serving drinks in egg cups known as coquetier, some point to a New England origin, many are obvious �hairy dog� stories and one credits a character from a James Fenimore Cooper novel.

According to Wikipedia encyclopedia: The earliest known printed use of the word �cocktail,� as originally determined by Dr. David Wondrich in October 2005, was from The Farmer�s Cabinet, April 28, 1803, p [2]: �11. Drank a glass of cocktail � excellent for the head … Call�d at the Doct�s. found Burnham � he looked very wise � drank another glass of cocktail.�
I think the true statement is that New Orleans popularized, and perhaps re-invented, the cocktail. Dr. Peychaud incorporated the use of bitters, which for a long time was a classic ingredient in all drinks considered to be cocktails. Because New Orleans was an important port city many people, from up the river and around the world, came here, sampled the drinks and took the recipes home with them. Had it not been for New Orleans, the world would likely have not gotten to know of the cocktail.

On other matters: I have read Hugh Rawson�s article and I have a very strong opinion about a comment Mr. Rawson made. That comment, however, has nothing to do with cocktails and everything to do with our city�s future. Musing about the three-decade gap between the occurrence of the term �cocktail� in the New Hampshire newspaper, The Farmer�s Cabinet, and the establishment of Mr. Peychaud�s pharmacy on Royal Street, Mr. Rawson wonders if �… a missing link remains to be discovered in the now soggy archives of New Orleans.�

Having had the occasion to visit a number of local archives since Katrina hit, I am unsure to which archives the author was referring and upon what data he based the assertion that all of our archives flooded. They most certainly did not.

The City Archive is located at the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library. The library building, at the corner of Tulane and Loyola Avenues in downtown New Orleans, sustained minor damage, but its two basements remained dry. Suffering from lack of revenue, the library cut 80 percent of its staff post-Katrina but has been open since Halloween. It remains open and dry and continues to serve its patrons Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The State Museum�s local buildings � the Cabildo, the Presbytere and the Old U.S. Mint � didn�t flood either. The Mint did, however, sustain wind damage to its roof.

In the private sector, the Historic New Orleans Collection sustained only slight roof damage, which did not affect any of its holdings. Located in the French Quarter, it did not flood. If you�ll allow me to digress a moment, people who ignorantly propagate the idea that the entire New Orleans metropolitan area flooded post-Katrina significantly impede New Orleans� economic recovery by frightening visitors away from businesses and attractions which sustained minimal damage and are open for business.

The French Quarter and the Garden District are just two of the areas that were not affected by the levee failures, but I�m mentioning them specifically because so many visitors love them. If any of you are contemplating a New Orleans visit but are wondering how your favorite attractions fared, please visit the New Orleans Convention & Visitors� Bureau at www.neworleanscvb.com or, better yet, contact the businesses you wish to patronize. They�ll be happy to know you�re thinking about them and you�re likely to be pleasantly surprised by what you hear.