After decades in the dark, the regal entrance and corridors of the former NOPSI headquarters in the CBD are again open to the public -- this time as the new more than $50 million NOPSI Hotel. A stately, 1920's era building, the NOPSI Hotel had laid dormant and boarded up for more than 30 years. On July 6, however, the hotel opened polished and re-engineered for new use. The hotel's name, and much of its decor, is an homage to New Orleans Public Service Inc., the company that once provided electricity and gas in the city and operated its streetcars and buses.
The main nine-story building was built in 1927 to house New Orleans Public Service Inc., the city's utility company, and its employees. Residents used to pay electric and gas bills in the building's lobby, which featured grand, 21-foot-high vaulted ceilings, columns and glossy terrazzo floors.
NOPSI's former headquarters is now a 217-room, nine-story hotel with generous public spaces including a lobby bar, a rooftop bar and a restaurant called Public Service. Rooms start around $229 a night for a standard king,
Public Service (a reference to an older name for NOPSI) is Southern food, modernized. It’s a contemporary regional restaurant with an upscale/casual ambiance set with deeply curving booth, a prominent bar sporting all-local draft beers and, across the room, an open kitchen. Nine floors up, the open-air rooftop bar is called Above the Grid. It opens to the public after 4 p.m., giving views of the city skyline from the middle of it.
The hotel is extremely dog-friendly, an accommodation for guests who travel with pets and neighbors who may be tempted off their dog walk route for a drink. The hotel even has a few dishes devised for dogs on its patio menu, like "the bowser burger”. The NOPSO Hotel is located at 317 Baronne Street.