America’s first cocktail is getting a museum in the city that invented it.
The Sazerac Company has purchased two vacant buildings at the corner of Canal and Magazine streets that it plans to renovate into a beveragealcohol museum. The purchase price was not disclosed in a news release announcing the development.
The museum will tell the history of the Sazerac as well as other original New Orleans brands, and explore “the unique role New Orleans has played in the bourbon and rum industries and in American cocktail culture,” according to the news release.
The buildings will also 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 New Orleans-based company says the buildings are nearly 200 years old and have sat vacant for more than 30 years.
The company plans to keep as many of the original design elements intact during the renovation, including wood floors, high ceilings, oversized windows and ornate support columns.
“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,” Mark Brown, president and CEO of The Sazerac Company, said in a statement. “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.”
Trapolin-Peer Architects and Ryan Gootee General Contractors will handle design and construction of the 50,000-square-foot facilities. Construction is expected to begin in the coming months, and Sazerac expects the building to be complete by late 2018.
The company is projecting 100,000 visitors the museum’s first year of operation.