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New Orleans LGBTQ History Walking Tour
Item 4 of 9
This is a contributing entry for New Orleans LGBTQ History Walking Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
Across the street from the Louisiana Supreme Court, Brennan’s restaurant has been a New Orleans staple since 1946. Pleasantly pink with the iron-framed balconies and the exterior window shutters so distinct to the city’s architecture, the dining establishment heralds itself for providing innovative Creole cuisine and charming meal service and ambiance. The restaurant also has an important place in New Orleans queer history, having hosted the original Fat Monday Luncheon, America's longest-running event to be continually hosted for and by members of the gay community.

This restaurant of local and regional cuisine was the first home to the oldest celebration of New Orleans’s queer population, the Fat Monday Luncheon. It was 1949, and founder Bob Demmons had been hosting friends for the city’s Mardi Gras festivities when he orchestrated the original celebration, crowning a Queen during their lunch and organizing a small procession through the French Quarter, complete with a horse-drawn carriage and the throwing of gladiolas by the newly pronounced royal.

Now held at Arnaud’s on 813 Bienville Street, the 200-person event–exclusive to the first bidders for restaurant seating–happens annually and involves the initiation of two separate Queens, various comedic awards, and a communal second-line made up of musicians, the luncheon’s participants, and the other diners in the area.

“About Fat Monday Luncheon.” Fat Monday Luncheon. Accessed 15 December 2019.