Some of the trendiest bars in Paris are all about originality, whether it’s in the decoration, the musical environment or simply in the atmosphere created by its regulars.
One of the more original concepts is the Soiréebus, which transforms from an ordinary means of transport into a venue for partying. This fully-equipped bus (with video screens, lighting and sound system, DJ, cloakroom and toilets) takes partiers on a “mobile” soirée around Paris, letting them admire the beautiful streets of the city, the Palais Garnier opera house, the Eiffel Tower and Place Vendôme, and the Champs Élysées. The bus can host up to 60 people, including 23 people seated. It can be rented by groups for an evening, but can also be boarded by individuals during the Paris Night Rides on Friday evening, when the bus shuttles between three partner pubs in three different districts.
At Le Pompon, a former synagogue transformed into a bar and nightclub, a festive ambience is assured right from the start of the evening. Guest DJs or live bands offer a variety of rock, electro or hip-hop. Vodka fans will find glasses to their taste at Molotov (2 rue du Port Mahon, Paris 2nd), an opulent little Russian bar, decorated in red and black with a tongue-in-cheek Soviet propaganda theme, complete with portraits of Stalin and Red Army uniforms. More than fifty vodkas are offered. Also for fans of Russia, the piano-bar of Le Raspoutine (58 rue de Bassano, Paris 8th), is an institution that never seems to age. Serge Gainsbourg was a regular in the 1980s. Vodka is the drink of choice here, and the atmosphere is lively with dances and songs taken up in chorus as the night progresses.
For those who fancy themselves insider traders, Le Footsie (10 rue Daunou, Paris 2nd) changes the price of cocktails according to the entertainment offered and demand in the establishment. Taking its name from the British stock market, Le Footsie displays the prices of drinks on plasma screens and requires the art of a trader to order at the right time, like when prices are at their lowest. Atmosphere is guaranteed, just like on the market floor in Paris, London or New York.
Those who want more room to explore will find plenty of options in the French capital. The Crystal Lounge is one of the capital’s newest and trendiest bars. This former cabaret has been fully renovated and boasts a modern design and atmosphere inspired by that of some of the finest London clubs.
Le Renard has retained the sumptuous space of the former art deco function room, with an Asian-style interior. This vast area which is both a restaurant and night bar offers an amazing atmosphere that mixes the architectural splendor of the past with a program of contemporary music. Le Petit Bain is another big venue soon to be housed on a huge 40-meter-long barge. This “floating cultural space” will serve as a bar, restaurant, concert hall and a place for art able to host up to 400 people.
The essential drink for celebratory occasions (or “just because,” at least in my mind), champagne is showcased in Paris’ assorted champagne bars. The Bar à Champagne at the Eiffel Tower offers a magical view of Paris, making a glass of champagne here really something special. At Flûte l’Étoile, the atmosphere is cozy on the ground floor with seating for couples and groups in the lounge atmosphere of the mezzanine. It’s a spinoff of the two New York Flûte bars, with a wide selection of champagnes … by the flute or by the bottle.
Louis 25, conceived by the former boxer Louis Acaries, is a champagne bar housed in a listed mansion house at the bottom of the Champs Élysées. La Grande Dame, at the Hôtel Sezz, is a bar dedicated to the champagne Veuve Clicquot, where champagne buffs can taste all the different champagnes from this Reims champagne house.
At the Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel, the champagne bar boasts some 60 different champagnes, including some old vintages, in a baroque setting dominated by gold and black colours. Every evening, the bar organizes tastings led by a sommelier and proposes tastings by the glass, or associating three types of champagne, dry, pink and vintage.