Dan Levy Jr., a former French Quarter restaurant and club owner whose clubs hosted musicians Pete Fountain and Al Hirt during Bourbon Street's heyday, died Monday after a brief battle with cancer. He was 89.
Along with his father, Levy managed several nightclubs on Bourbon Street in the 1950s and 1960s, including Dan’s Pier 600, The Al Hirt Club, The Old Absinthe Bar and Nobody Likes a Smart Ass comedy club. Levy followed his father into the nightclub and restaurant business after returning to New Orleans in 1956 after college.
In addition to the nightclubs, the Levys opened Dan’s International Settlement, in the 600 block of Bourbon Street, considered by some the first New Orleans Chinese restaurant. The restaurant was opened by the Levy family in 1946 with Frank Gee.
Levy’s clubs were home to nationally-renowned trumpeter Al Hirt and many other popular musicians and comedians. Dan’s Pier 600 featured Hirt and clarinetist Pete Fountain, playing together early in their careers.
Levy also served on the Vieux Carre Commission in the early 1970s and was a charter member of the Krewe of Bacchus.
A native of Mid-City, Levy attended Jesuit High School, Marion Military Institute, LSU, the United States Military Academy at West Point and Columbia University in New York. After serving in post-World War II Germany, he returned to West Point as a mathematics professor and assistant baseball and soccer coach.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley Raphael Levy; his 11 children, 52 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, as well as two sisters.
A funeral Mass will be said Friday at 12:30 p.m. at St. Louis King of France Church, 1609 Carrollton Ave., Metairie. Visitation will be held at the church from 10:30 a.m. until Mass time. A celebration of life will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Cannery, 3803 Toulouse Street, New Orleans.