Bevelo Gas & Electric Lights (Like Being a Cajun in a Candy Store)

March 07, 2022
When I switched from Catholic school to private school in the fifth grade, several of my new classmates described me as “fancy.” I took it as a compliment, given that I liked the metallic threads in my button-up shirts, I thought hair should only be feathered, and I covered my K-Swiss with inspirational quotes before inspirational quotes were a thing. “Why be anything other than fancy?” I would say to myself under my breath. “You’re special and noticeable, and everything else pales in comparison to you.” I also liked the word because I could spell it. I was a terrible speller.

My love of being fancy was topped only by my love of candy. I was a sucker—see what I did there?—for Lemonheads, gum drops, jawbreakers that changed the color of my tongue, and gumballs. God, how I loved gumballs.

Even though I still love the word “fancy,” I have developed a tad more appreciation for words that say the same thing but a little, well, fancier. Words that include “quality,” “beauty,” “sustainable,” and “locally-made.” All those words highlight the New Orleans institution that is Bevolo Lighting. With locations dotting the New Orleans map like cocktail stains, Bevolo has been responsible for lighting the city of New Orleans and specifically the French Quarter since 1945. Family owned and operated, this New Orleans beacon of perfection is responsible for the handcrafted ironwork lighting much of the Quarter. You can catch a glimpse of their dynamic styles, crafted to last a lifetime, at the Cabildo in Jackson Square. You can dine under their glow and mesmerizing designs at Tableau, also in Jackson Square, and sleep amongst their stars at the Royal Sonesta, and the Bourbon Orleans.

Skill combines with exquisite craftsmanship at their Museum & Workshop at 316 Royal St., where you can see the men and women who make the ongoing phenomenon a reality for the world as they create masterpieces of lighting before your eyes. It’s like watching jewelry makers make a gem for the home. With entrances from Royal Street and Exchange Alley, the romantic interior corridor transports guests back to old New Orleans and treats them to a slice of our city that few people get to taste.

Bringing tomorrow’s antiques to the world today, and satisfying my candy cravings, Bevolo opened a midcentury modern retail space at 304 Royal St., complete with lamps and other home lighting and decorative glass. Populated by imports representing some pretty fancy companies, the space breathes creativity with glass works from Murano and Blenko Glass Company.

One step into these four walls will have you feasting on eye candy. You’re enveloped in colors like in a dream. The designs harken back to mid-century modern trends, but takes a 2022 approach that gives them a place and time all their own. Double-tier lampshades sit proudly like tiaras on the bodies of lamps that can be very easily compared to sculpture. Their colors warp you back to your childhood. Their whimsical shapes the make you feel young and inspired all over again. Handmade reproductions of vibrant fiberglass lampshades are sure to live with families for generations to come.

No other city could host the talents of this multi-location company as fancily as New Orleans. Our urban landscape was emblazoned with gas lamps long before many of our major cities, save for Baltimore and Philadelphia. Today, Bevolo’s lamps and lighting designs are built to burn twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and highlight many of the city’s most notable and iconic homes.

A company that sets the standard for quality and style, a team that brings the latest global trends in lighting to Royal Street, and a space that make me feel like a Cajun in a candy shop. What could be better? Nothing: that’s what!