About Us

“Among those blazing new trails in the old district of New Orleans is Richard Hughes who is putting together seasonal menus that reflect both the robustness of his native south Louisiana and the urbanity of his years on New York’s much faster restaurant track.”

Food & Wine Magazine


Richard Hughes and his wife, Jeanne Stinnett Hughes, moved from New York to New Orleans in 1989, and one year later opened the Pelican Club Restaurant and Bar. Born in New Orleans and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Richard began his cooking career at home and continued at several New Orleans area restaurants. His first apprenticeship was with Chris Kerageorgiou at La Provence in Lacomb, Louisiana; then he moved on to saucier under chef Gerard Thabius at Winston’s, to night chef at The Sazerac, and then to chef at Dante by the River. In 1983 Chef Hughes was recruited as an executive chef to open Memphis Restaurant in New York which soon became regarded as a leader among Manhattan’s Creole-Cajun eateries. Town & Country Magazine reviewer James Villas wrote: “Memphis is one of the best, most exciting restaurants to open in New York in years. What you’re here for is New Orleans chef Richard Hughes’ authentic Creole-Cajun cuisine and down-to-earth Southern dishes.”

After six years on New York’s fast track, Richard and Jeanne returned home to raise their family and to open the Pelican Club. The Hughes found the 19th century French Quarter townhouse on Bienville Street and Exchange Alley to be the ideal location. Jeanne directed an extensive renovation incorporating many of the building’s existing features—Italian marble columns and floors, hand-painted ceramic tiles and a rusticated stone wall. The entrance is via the Bar which overlooks Exchange Place through a wall of arched, wood-mullioned windows and leads into three dining rooms: the cozy Club Room with burnished cypress paneling, the casually elegant Main Dining Room with creamy painted brick archways contrasting with long black banquettes, and the colorful Bienville Room with large windows looking out to the Quarter. Original artworks by contemporary Louisiana artists including Alex Beard, Martin LaBorde, Beth Lambert, Michalopoulos, Grace Newburger and Rise Delmar Ocshner are featured in each of the spaces. Gregory Roberts, New Orleans columnist for The Times-Picayune, wrote: “The overall effect is sort of understated hip with a festive fillip, a tasteful ambiance where diners are comfortable in everything from blue jeans to ball gowns.”


Month and Year Opened July 1990
Street Address
View Map
312 Exchange Place
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Telephone 504-523-1504
Fax 504-522-2331
Email pelicanevents@gmail.com
Executive Chef/Owner Richard Hughes
Chef De Cuisine Mark Kaufman
Executive Sous Chef Bruce Murray
Pastry Chef Claudette Jones
Dining Room Manager Nathan Henderson
Bar Manager Adam Tustin
Assistant Dining Room Manager Leslie Deese
Cuisine Category Contemporary Creole/ Seafood/ Global
Representative dishes Pelican Club Baked Oysters
  Clay Pot “Barbequed”  Shrimp
  Seafood Martini
  Crispy Whole Flounder
  Whole Maine Lobster
  Trio of Duck
Wine List Principal regions represented: California, France, Italy
  Number of Wines: 225      Available by the glass:  22
Corkage Fee $35 for each 750-milliliter bottle
Dress Code Nice Casual.  Cut-off shorts, atheletic shorts, sleeveless shirts and baseball caps are not permitted for gentlemen.
Parking Partial validation at the Hotel Monteleone garage.
Private Parties 25 to 250 People .
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Photography by Sara Essex Bradley, David L’Hoste and Sam Hanna