Thursday, January 1, 2009

Night of Joy -- Police Station

The Night of Joy Bar
After Mrs. Reilly and Ignatius escape Patrolman Mancuso at the D.H. Holmes Department Store, they went down Bourbon Street and into the French Quarter. They duck into a bar to grab a drink and get off the street. The bar they chose is called The Night of Joy and it has nude dancing girls there at night.
Ignatius tries to order a Dr. Nut, but ends up with a beer. Mrs. Reilly orders a beer and then ends up drinking several. Ignatius entertains his mother and the bartender with his riveting tale of the Scenicruiser trip to Baton Rouge while Mrs. Reilly drinks away.
They end up meeting Dorian Greene and he buys Mrs. Reilly’s hat for fifteen dollars.
The bar is described as dark and smelling of bourbon and cigarette butts. There are a number of strip clubs up and down Bourbon Street, but most of them are not as dark and dank as the Night of Joy. Most of them have a lot of chrome and mirrors and don’t seem to be anything like Lana Lee’s joint. The current trend in strip clubs is to make them “Gentlemen’s Clubs,” that have nice d├ęcor and don’t look seedy at all.
Here’s a shot of Bourbon Street. On the left, you can see a couple of entertaining ladies who are trying to drum up business by standing outside and persuading customers to enter…

This bar isn’t on Bourbon Street and its not a strip club, but it looks kind of like what I imagine the Night of Joy to look like…

I know there’s no stage in this bar and I know there were no pool tables in the Night of Joy, but I still think this one has the right “feel.”

The French Quarter Police Station
After Claude Robichaux was arrested by Patrolman Mancuso, he was taken to the French Quarter Police Station and handcuffed to the bench near the Sergeant’s desk next to Burma Jones.
The French Quarter Police Station is run, of course, by the New Orleans Police Department, which is one of North America’s oldest police agencies. It was formed in 1718 when New Orleans was still in French hands.
The building which now houses the New Orleans Police Department’s 8th District Police Station was built in 1826 and was originally the Bank of Louisiana.
Here’s a shot of the building’s exterior, and a shot of the plaque just outside the door…

Here’s a shot of the interior, and of the Sergeant’s Desk…

The bench is just behind the desk, under the folded, framed American flag. I would’ve got a couple photos of the bench, but there was someone already in it…Handcuffed, just like poor old Claude Robichaux.

6/21/2010 edit: lkme55, my version of the Night of Joy bar is Molly's on Toulouse St., which you can find at 732 Toulouse St. It's about 25 yards south of Bourbon St. I hadn't really noticed when I took those photos, but you're right...That patron looks just like a Lucky Dog vendor. Perhaps he's taking a break and cooling his heels like his hero, Ignatius.


  1. The bar building looks a bit familiar. Where is it and what is the name, please? As for finding the right "feel", you must remember how vastly different EVERYthing is now compared to the '60s. By the that patron a Lucky Dog employee?? ;-))

  2. Ignatius Rising, the John Kennedy Toole biography by Rene Pol Nevils and Deborah George Hardy, published by the LSU Press, contends that Night of Joy may have been based on House of Joy in the early 60's on Barracks Street in the lower Quarter. The book includes an old photograph of House of Joy.

  3. reading the book now. love it. makes me want to live there