Sbisa's Cafe began in 1899, when the Sbisa family purchased the three-story building across from the bustling French Market. Its clientele ranged from businessmen, who worked in heart of the then New Orleans financial district to visitors, passing through one of the nation's largest cities.
The building's history, however, starts in 1820, when it was built as a chandlery, providing soaps, candles and wax to the ships on the Mississippi River. Continuing to cater to sailors, the building next became a bank, where seafarers' wages were stored and finally a bar, with an upstairs brothel. Some of the patrons are still found lingering on the third floor.