In the early 2000s, there was a bar called Samuels on St. Charles Avenue. It was a favorite spot for the first Real World: New Orleans cast, who lived in the Belfort House. What happened to Samuels, and where is the Belfort House located?
Bars come and go all the time in the Big Easy, and that's what happened to Samuels. It came and went.
The location at 1628 St. Charles Ave. was known as Samuels from about 1997 until 2004, when it became the Avenue Beer Pub. In 2005, the location ceased to be a bar at all.
About 10 blocks up the street, at 2618 St. Charles Ave., is the Belfort House. Unlike Samuels, the mansion is still there. The 7,000-square-foot, two-story Greek revival home was built in the 1870s for Alexander C. Hutchinson and his wife; they purchased the property on St. Charles Avenue in 1867. The couple lived there until Hutchinson died in 1902.
In the 1930s, the mansion was divided into apartments and for years was home to many New Orleanians.
When the mansion became home to the Real World: New Orleans cast, the interior was gutted and renovated. Two of the local gentlemen responsible for the transformation were art director Monroe Kelly and architect Lee Ledbetter. As co-production designers, they transformed the mansion into living quarters for the young folks — and a functional production set.
After the New Orleans season ended and the cast moved out in May 2000, the mansion was purchased and transformed back into a single-family residence.