Latitude 29 to open in New Orleans
Earlier this year Tiki bar legend Jeff “Beachbum” Berry announced that he and his wife, Annene, would be opening a bar in New Orleans. For those in culinary school programs unfamiliar with Berry, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the cocktail world and has written and published a wide array of treasured bar guides. The Beachbum and his wife were actively searching for the right location for a couple years before eventually finding a vacancy in the French Quarter’s Bienville House Hotel. Berry announced the project in April via Tales of the Cocktail. Latitude 29 is slated to open near the end of October, though no specific date has been released.
Who is the Beachbum?
Berry has been working to revive cocktail culture for decades. He has penned a variety of bar bibles that serve as comprehensive guides to tropical drinks such as daiquiris and mai tais. Currently he has a total of six books on Tiki drinks and cuisine, and one can only imagine that his expansive bar knowledge will be emblazoned in Latitude 29. However, what makes Berry’s career so remarkable is his lifelong dedication to a specific culinary niche. The Beachbum fell in love with Tiki culture as it was falling out of fashion, and rather than move on, he unearthed the history of the craft and became an expert.
Perhaps this is why The New York Times dubbed Berry, “The Indiana Jones of Tiki drinks.” He serves as a historian, investigator, scribe and spokesman for Tiki culture, and his new eatery could certainly become a hub for revitalizing the lost art.
The Beachbum’s restaurant will assuredly have unmatchable authenticity based on his encyclopedic knowledge. According to Eater, Steve Yamada will be taking the reigns as general manager and head bartender. Ironically, Berry has found that despite knowing everything about Tiki drinks, he is not good at crafting and serving them. However, he will play host to his new establishment, ensuring that it has a distinct Beachbum aura. When speaking with Eater, Yamada suggested that ribs would be on the menu among other classic dishes of Tiki cuisine. Latitude 29 also promises to showcase a number of Berry’s cocktail recipes, as well as contributions from the rest of the bartending staff.