Family Matters

The Impastato Family Transfers 101 Year Ownership of the Napoleon House to Ralph Brennan Who Will Preserve the Cherished Landmark


Ralph Brennan, who hails from a classically old-time New Orleans family, is defined by his accomplishments as a businessman and his conviction to perpetuate the traditions of his family and his city.  The logical leap of reestablishing Brennan’s on Royal Street has won him the applause of locals and visitors alike and his hospitable character opens doors to others searching for his guidance with their own family-owned establishments. This led Ralph Brennan into conversation with the long-term and well-respected family, the Impastatos of New Orleans, who have selected him to purchase the Napoleon House. It has been operated by the Impastato family since 1914, and mirrors the family-to-family traditions of the Brennans.


“Sal Impastato and his family’s dedication to uphold the family’s business and legacy can be found through its preserved decor and the genuine hospitality Sal and his sister, Maria, offered daily to their guests at the Napoleon House,” said Brennan. The legendary lure will remain intact, which is evident in Ralph Brennan’s sincere and solid promise to honor the French Quarter establishment’s cherished past.


The building's first occupant was Nicholas Girod, Mayor of New Orleans from 1812-1815. Girod offered his residence to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1821 as a refuge during his exile; of course, Napoleon never made it, but his name on the hopeful building did! The Impastato family honored its storied past by maintaining the original deeply patinated walls, unleveled tile floors, and weathered wooden bar -- lovingly hollowed from serving thousands upon thousands of the establishment's signature Pimm’s Cup. “I had lunch there the other day with my son, Patrick, and we reflected that this is one of the most prestigious buildings in New Orleans, a real treasure that signifies the historical importance of our city,” said Brennan, glowingly.


The Napoleon House has always been a welcoming retreat, and will remain that same way with open arms on the corner of Chartres and St. Louis, in the middle of the perpetually bustling French Quarter. The European oasis feels like a quintessential corner pied-à-terre and bistro in Paris.  The building has been host to numerous Oscar-winning movies, as well as prominent artists in residence, photographers, painters, and classical musicians. When basking in its ambiance, guests, diners and people-watchers can enjoy Beethoven’s Eroïca Symphony, which he originally composed for Napoleon, and the music of other classical masters. “From preserving one incredible property like Brennan’s that has been in the family for generations, to receiving the gift of stewardship of the Napoleon House -- it is a tremendous responsibility. It is a true honor and privilege to bring it into the family of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group. We will embrace its patina and charm which lends something very distinguished and noble to the rooms, all the while in maintaining its integrity with pride,” said Brennan.


In a city like New Orleans that is so steeped in history, there are few places that define it as well as the Napoleon House, and no better person than Ralph Brennan to be entrusted with the legacy of this cherished landmark.

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