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Last Call for Johnny White's Sports Bar This Weekend

by Mary-Devon Dupuy

FRENCH QUARTER - Tomorrow, June 30, Johnny White’s Sports Bar is closing its doors after over 20 years of serving as the only neighborhood bar on Bourbon Street, as well as an occasional home for some of its most loyal patrons. Although the owners of the building will reopen the bar after it undergoes renovations, those who frequented the local watering hole are mourning the loss of Johnny White’s as they know it. Most describe the 720 Bourbon Street dive as the bar that never closes, even for Katrina.


The bar was packed around 2pm on the eve of its departure from Bourbon St. NoDef decided to check out the scene and caught up with longtime patron Colleen Millard.


“We’re going to come here, and we’re going to drink and enjoy,” Millard said, fighting back tears. “On the last day, we’re going to find another place where we can all go.”


Jason Beckhouse was also there in the middle of the day, and he said he doesn’t plan on leaving until the very last minute.


“I’m planning on being here from tonight around midnight, to about 1am tomorrow night,” Beckhouse said. He loves Johnny White’s so much, he literally lived there for a time.


“I had all my stuff upstairs, and had about three days between apartments, and I lived here. Took a nap when I could, where I could,” Beckhouse said. “You got such a wide variety of people here. You got tourists, locals, service industry people, lawyers, politicans.”  


Tonight, they’ll be having drink specials as part of their “farewell event.” Saturday night, they’ll make history at midnight when they lock the doors that had previously only been secured by Mardi Gras beads. A Second Line band will lead the group to MRB’s for an all-night event complete with a party bus until 7am.


Correction: The story originally said that Johnny White's had been open for 25 years, as stated on their website.

How old are the wall

How old are the wall paintings of Tom Dempsey,Ali and Arnold Palmer etc. And who painted them ?

As a denizen of the bar for

As a denizen of the bar for it's entire run, let me post a coup:

The bar opened in 1991. Before that, it was an apartment. That's 20 years, not 25.

Although there are not many locals spots directly on Bourbon, the Sports Bar was not and IS not the "only local bar on Bourbon". Right next door is Johnny White's Hole in the Wall, which is also frequented by a significant number of locals. In fact, the two neighbors have shared many staff members in their repective histories. Back in the day, there were a few others locals' bars, although none of them remain. The Sports Bar is the last 24 HOUR locals bar on Bourbon, and that tradition looks to indeed be coming to its end. Thankfully, the original Johnny White's is literally only one door off Bourbon as is the Erin Rose on Conti.

Locals continue to be chased out of the Quarter by those favoring "hospitality", but we're not dead yet. Johnny White's will return to the corner of Orleans, MRB, Harry's Corner, Cosimo's and a slew of others remain. Now stay the hell out and let us locals enjoy them! :)

-One of the few, proud and dwindling full-time residents of the Quarter, "the 2600".

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