Earl Bernhardt, co-inventor of the New Orleans Hand Grenade, dies at 80

Uncategorized
bourbon_1517090262463.jpg

Bernhardt was the co-owner of Tropical Isle and was well known for his appearances in the bar’s unconventional commercials on TV.

NEW ORLEANS (WWL-TV) — Earl Bernhardt, the co-founder of the Tropical Isle bar and co-inventor of the world-famous “Hand Grenade” beverage died Thursday. He was 80. 

Bernhardt and his business partner Pam Fortner opened Bourbon Street’s Tropical Isle in December of 1984 and made a name selling their invention: the “New Orleans Hand Grenade,” a strong alcoholic beverage served in a green, grenade-shaped container that has long been one of the city’s most popular drinks. 

A spokesperson with Bernhardt’s family told WWL-TV he passed overnight Dec. 5 from natural causes. He had been facing health issues but was thought to be getting better, she said. Bernhardt turned 80 in August. 

He and Fortner became well known for their unconventional commercials to advertise the bar and the hand grenade, which aired on WWL-TV and other local stations over the years. 

“He was loved by so many here, nationally and internationally we will be allowing time for those that want to pay their respects in person to celebrate his life in his favorite city – New Orleans,” Fortner said. 

“He and I started Tropical Isle back in 1984 bring joy and lasting memories to literally 100’s of thousands of people over three and a half decades. We will continue doing just that. Make sure you raise a glass for Earl, because we know that’s what he would have wanted,” Fortner said.  

Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced Friday, although Fortner said there would be a second line to honor the life of Bernhardt. 

“Mr. Bernhardt has always been a big supporter of the French Quarter and the City of New Orleans, member of several community organizations and the founding member of the French Quarter Alliance,” Fortner said. 

Social media reacted to Bernhardt’s passing, with multiple people in the French Quarter community extending their condolences with his family, Fortner and the Tropical Isle family.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Clear

Abbeville

49°F Clear Feels like 49°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
92%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few passing clouds. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
49°F A few passing clouds. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
4 mph ENE
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Crescent
Clear

Crowley

46°F Clear Feels like 46°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
95%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mostly clear. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Mostly clear. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
4 mph ENE
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Crescent
Clear

Opelousas

48°F Clear Feels like 48°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
93%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mostly clear. Low 43F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Mostly clear. Low 43F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
4 mph ENE
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Crescent
Clear

Breaux Bridge

48°F Clear Feels like 48°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
93%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Generally clear. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
49°F Generally clear. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
4 mph ENE
Precip
20%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Crescent
Clear

New Iberia

47°F Clear Feels like 47°
Wind
3 mph ESE
Humidity
100%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy. Low around 40F. Winds light and variable.
46°F Partly cloudy. Low around 40F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
3 mph NE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waxing Crescent

Local News

More Local

Sidebar

Trending Stories