Established in 1902, Ernst Café has consistently provided excellent service from its key location in the historic warehouse district of New Orleans. From generation to generation, people have enjoyed indulging in their favorite spirits, food and fun at this century old Brunswick bar. Originally founded by John, William and Charles Ernst, Ernst Café has been locally owned and operated for 100 years. While not much has changed in the past century in regards to friends and fun, Ernst Café has evolved into a premier provider for special events. Simply put, Ernst Café thrives on meeting the needs of its customers and creating an atmosphere of fun with a touch of nostalgic class. From the civil war, through prohibition, and up to the present day, 600 South Peters Street has prevailed as a successful place of business and has developed into a piece of New Orleans history. Built in 1851-52 by prominent New Orleans developer Evariste Blanc, the existing structure that occupies Ernst Café is an excellent example of pre-civil war architecture commonly found in the warehouse district. The building was originally used primarily for storage purposes and was one of the first pieces of property to be sold at the estate auction of Mr. Blanc. In 1859, Schneider and Wise Grocers occupied the building and also used it as a private residence, because at that time the building had two separate addresses. Schneider and Wise maintained their business at this location until 1902, when it was sold to three brothers that were looking to open a saloon – John, William and Charles Ernst. While renovations have modernized the inner-workings of the building, nothing has been done to the main structure. The building, with its original pressed tin ceiling, has been purposely preserved to protect its architectural integrity.
The mosaic tile floor was installed in 1902. The symbol depicted is an ancient “Symbol For Peace” dating back more than 10,000 years. It can be found in many places around the world such as; the gates of the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids in Egypt, and ancient Aztec Indian sites. The American Indians also used it. This symbol is sometimes confused with the swastika. It is thought that Hitler took the ancient “Symbol for Peace” and inverted it as an expression of anti-peace. Hitler was actually just a teenager when the floor was installed here at Ernst Cafe in 1902.