Breaking News
More () »

Bar that stayed open during Hurricane Katrina remembered in new book

“CNN made us their headquarters and it was a place where people could get a sense of normality in their lives,” Crandle said.

On any given day, you will see all kinds of people at Johnny White’s Corner Pub on the corner of Bourbon and Orleans in the French Quarter.

On Wednesday, though, one special guest, who literally wrote the book on the place, was there to walk down memory lane.  

Marita Woywod Crandle started working as a bartender there in 2002. Back then, it was called Johnny White’s Sport Bar.

“I never thought I’d walk into this little place because it was like the tiniest, looked like the dirtiest, seediest bar," Crandle said. "When I walked in and met the people that were here and the fun they enjoyed with life they showed me a lot of things I was over looking," she said. 

The staff and the regulars would become Crandle’s family, a family that would be tested during and after the city’s hardest of times.

“We were the only bar open during Hurricane Katrina,” said Crandle. “CNN made us their headquarters and it was a place where people could get a sense of normality in their lives.”  

The 24-hour bar also served as a valuable place for those who evacuated the city.

“We happened to have a landline here so everyday we were able to call in and see what was happening,” said Crandle. “There was one artist. His job was to feed the animals. So people would call in and say can you check on my dog or cat.”

In 2012, the bar closed and change owners. While there are differences now, the name Johnny White’s still remains.

“It’s like the big sister of the other bar so it still has a special place in our hearts,” said Crandle. 

The memories of the old place now live on in a new book Crandle has written, called "Johnny White’s Sports Bar — The Tiny Joint that Never Closed."

“I did it as tribute to the bar and what it meant to us,” Crandle said. “We still miss it a lot and we needed more closure for the people who did come here a lot. If you read the book you will see the lessons I learned from the characters here. It was completely opposite of what my first impression was,” she said. 

The book is available on Amazon. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out