Meyer the Mad Hatter
Address: 120 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130
Latitude/Longitude: 29.952541, -90.069271
Web site: click here
Phone: (504) 525-1048
In the last few years, hats have made a comeback. All self-respecting New Orleans Bywater hipsters, not to mention the Williamsburg versions, sport fedoras. At our spring music festivals like Jazz Fest, every other head is topped by a straw hat. In New Orleans, we’ve got a history with hats going way back. Meyer the Hatter, the store a block from Canal St. at 136 St. Charles Avenue in the Central Business District, has been selling hats for five generations. In 1894, Sam H. Meyer opened the first location in the first block of St. Charles Avenue. Today, in 2014, the fourth and fifth generation of Meyers works in the store .
First Meyer’s sold Stetsons (it still does), and men’s ties, and eventually, after World War II, began selling Italian Borsalino hats. Later, in the 1950s, it took on the lines of Kangol (sported by jazz musicians in town and all over the world), and Dobbs, the hat that Don Draper might have worn in the 1950s and early 1960s. Famous customers include Tennessee Williams and Dr. John, recently photographed for Offbeat Magazine trying on hats at Meyer the Hatter.
If you’re in town, consider stopping by to get hat education from a Meyer family member. The store is jammed with every possible sort of headwear you can imagine (do you need a green derby for next St. Patrick’s Day?). The service is pure old-school courtesy. You may leave looking like a Southern gentleman writer, a mid-20th century businessman, a beatnik musician, a French girl in a beret, or an elegant lady on her way to the Kentucky Derby. Or even a hipster.
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