A New Orleans, Louisiana Bed and Breakfast with Heart and Hospitality
Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast – Meet your Innkeepers
If ever there was a couple destined for the Bed and Breakfast business, it’s the Rabhan duo. Both are consummate professionals and care deeply about the quality of their Inn and the experiences of their guests.
What is a bit unusual, for bed and breakfast Innkeepers, is that this couple has prepared for entrepreneurship in Innkeeping their entire careers, without realizing it. While many of their counterparts readily admit to beginning their Innkeeping opportunity with little or no previous lodging experience of their own, Joe and Bebe bring many years of service in the hospitality and retail marketing industries to the table (albeit the “kitchen table” in this case).
Graduating from the University of Georgia in 1972 with a degree in Food Science and Business, Joe served 25 years in the hotel industry with a major national brand and had the opportunity to direct hotel operations in a number of mid-sized and large resorts and hotels. Over the years, he served as Director of Housekeeping, Director of Food and Beverage and as General Manager. He held the designation of certified hotel administrator at that time and has earned numerous certificates in food service and hotel management.
Bebe graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Fashion Marketing and worked in the retail industry in management roles and later in data and information processing until she and Joe decided to start a family.
Joe and Bebe have two lovely children, Lindsey and Benji. Both lived in the Inn before heading off to college. Lindsey earned a Masters degree in Social Psychology and works in the private sector for a major marketing research firm and Benji completed college with a Business Degree and has his own successful software and internet sales conversion business. He is married to lovely Jenna Mitzner of Miami, FL.
Innkeeping is hard work, but Joe and Bebe make personal time for the things they enjoy. Whenever they can, they visit local restaurants and enjoy the best that New Orleans has to offer. Perhaps one benefit of their interest in dining out is that they are in touch with some of the more popular eating establishments in the French Quarter and throughout the city as well as some "off the beaten path" local favorites. They are always eager to share their experiences with guests and almost as if by magic, they can get reservations at those "hard to get into places." You can read all about the places they visit and learn more about local festivals and events by clicking onto their New Orleans Blog
Bebe loves to decorate and shop. Or is it shop and decorate? Joe is always bewildered with her stamina and bargain hunting abilities. Much of her "eye" is reflected in the decor of each guest room in the Inn. There's magic in coordinating period furniture with more contemporary accents and utilizing the individual character of each of the 17 guest rooms to its fullest potential and appeal. Bebe also likes to lunch with her friends (yes, lunching is an official sporting activity in the Crescent City) and she also does a lot of volunteer work for the community. Speaking of sports, Bebe is a staunch University of Tennessee fan and football enthusiast. So welcome Volunteers (and alumni from all other schools around the country)!
Joe has always said that his lodging career is a "sideline." His real occupation is and always will be prestidigitation and illusionary science. Translation: Joe is an avid magic hobbyist. At the age of seven, Joe first got the "bug" of performing magic and he has been going strong ever since. He is a local chapter and national member of the Society of American Magicians (Houdini was one of the first Presidents) and he is a two time winner of that club's "Magician of the Year" award. He is also a member of the prestigious International Brotherhood of Magicians and has attained the designation of "Order of Merlin, Shield" for his many years of continuous membership and participation.
When not tending to his Innkeeping responsibilities, you'll find Joe practicing with coins or cards or reading one of the latest books or publications on the topic. He volunteers to perform when he can, along with his colleagues, for local non-profit organizations and medical facilities and is currently the web editor of the chapter's website. When you're at the Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast, don't be surprise if Joe shares one of his favorite routines with you; he's always got something up his sleeve!
The Picard Family Home Circa 1891 - Designed and built by Thomas Sully
Thomas Sully (1855-1939) was the leading architect in New Orleans during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth. His many houses included examples of Second Empire, Queen Anne, stick-style, shingle, and Romanesque as well as the various revivals-Colonial, Beaux-Arts, and what might be termed Greek-Revival-Revival. Upper St. Charles Avenue was the most fashionable part of the city, and Sully houses helped to give it an air of comfortable elegance.
Mr. Sully designed this home for the Picard family in 1889 and the structure was completed in 1891. Henry Picard was a well respected business merchant and philanthropist. The mansion is an example of the Queen Anne style of the period.
Thomas Sully was a consummate detailer in wood appointments. He enlisted the best carpenters on his projects to carve small wood medallions and ornaments that were unique to his style and homes. Examples can be found throughout the Picard Mansion.
Joe and Bebe invite you to come and experience the talent of this prolific designer who made such a magnificent contribution to New Orleans' architectural history.
"Wonderful Bed and Breakfast. I stayed here with my mom for a long weekend. We went to an open house at my future law school and this was the perfect location. It was equal distance to the schools as well as to all of the fun of New Orleans!"