We live and work in a special place. THATS WHY I call New Orleans Home.
700-06 Frenchmen Street
Proud to be part of the neighborhood
Situated across from Washington Park on Frenchmen Street, the Royal Frenchmen Hotel and Bar is a showplace with 13 rooms, 3 suites, a large courtyard and a breathtaking fountain.
The Royal Frenchmen is owned by Subway restaurant magnate Hugh Stiel, a Louisiana native with a passion for the hospitality business (he owns the Frenchmen Hotel down the street as well).
It is important that the Royal Frenchmen be a good neighbor, loved by those who live in the charming Creole cottages that surround the property. Says Dustin Castrinos, General Manager: “We want our neighbors to feel a part of the hotel – to drop by for a beer, have their parties here, and invite their family and friends to stay near them at Royal Frenchmen.”
A Little History: 700 Frenchmen Then and Now
Royal Frenchmen Hotel and Bar was once part of the vast real estate holdings of Cuban-born grocer Julien Adolphe Lacroix. After his death in 1868, the property was acquired by his brother Francois, a prosperous tailor, fabric merchant, real estate speculator and philanthropist.
- Facing Washington Square in the heart of Faubourg Marigny, the two masonry townhouses at 700-06 Frenchmen Street have a commanding presence.
- The 2 ½ story buildings and detached 3-story service buildings were part of the vast real estate holdings of Cuban- born Julien Adolphe Lacroix (1808-1868) and, after his death, his brother Francois Lacroix (1806-1876).
- Julien Lacroix, a grocer by trade, acquired the property in 1843 from Azereto who lived nearby at the corner of Frenchmen and Decatur Streets.
- Julien Lacroix’s extensive estate was inventoried after his death in 1868. It included their place of business at 506 Frenchmen Street, where J.A. Lacroix fancy goods and wine emporium was located, and the properties at the corner of Frenchmen and Royal Streets, valued at $16,000 and described as “two double two story brick houses and kitchens and other improvements ... erected after the purchase of the land by Lacroix in 1843. "
- Although Julien Lacroix constructed several buildings on his acquired properties over the years, there is no record that he employed builders or architects, so he may have supervised the work himself.
- Lacroix’s properties were sold at public auction on March 31, 1869 to Julien’s brother Francois.
- Newspaper advertisements preceding the sale show that two double buildings at 700-06 Frenchmen Street were located on separate lots A and B. Lot B, at the corner of Frenchmen and Royal, had a “two story and attic brick house, Nos. 50 and 52, containing twelve rooms, a three story brick kitchen of six rooms, paved yard, waterworks, privy, etc., the whole divided into two tenements”
- Lot B contained identical townhouses, Nos. 54 and 56.
- Lacroix paid his brother’s estate $1,150 for the two double townhouses. A floor plan included in the estate records show a typical Creole-style floor plan, with stairs located in the rear loggia and a combination of attic frieze windows with dormers, an unusual configuration for Creole style buildings.
- Francois Lacroix, a prosperous tailor and fabric merchant, started out in business in the French Quarter as a partner in the firm of Cordeviolle and Lacroix. He also was a major real estate speculator, participating in the fluid market of the 1840s; and that allowed him to become a philanthropist, with the benefit of his largesse going to orphan children through his endowment of the Société Pour L'education des Orphelins des Indigenes de la 3me District and La Société de la Sainte Famille.
- The fortunes of Lacroix, however, declined after the Civil War and he would not pay taxes. When he died in 1876 at his late brother’s home at 506 Frenchmen, he not only did not leave a will but was insolvent; and his extensive holdings were liquidated at public auction.
- The buyer of the two double buildings was Charles Lacoume, the proprietor of the Crescent Billiard Hall and Bar Room under the St. Charles Hotel. When this native of Pau, France died in 1882, his funeral was held at this home at 56 Frenchmen, one of the buildings in the subject row.
- His family retained the buildings until 1903 when they were sold to Louisa Gazave, widow of Bernard Abadie, also French immigrants. The Abadie family retained the buildings until 1925.
- During the early 1900s, a millinery shop was located at 700 Frenchmen. For many decades the occupants of these Creole-style building not only were mostly French but maintained the continental tradition of mixed residential and commercial uses.
- In 1972 the property was acquired by the Children’s Home of New Orleans.
- Hugh Stiel bought the building in 2013 from Father Flanagan's Boy's Home.