When an area is called ‘trendy’ or ‘up and coming’ in the press, you know that the really hip people are already moving out. In Paris the uber cool place to be is no longer Gare du Nord, it is the 10th Arrondissement and we have been out to find three cutting edge cocktail bars that are doing it their way.
Le Fantôme – 36 Rue de Paradis, 75010, Paris
Straight out of the comic books, this enormous space is brought to you by those clever people behind Le Baron. It is perfectly modern with a large dose of 1983. The huge bar is surrounded by table football, pinball machines, retro arcade games and even a Pacman table, you’ll need to book it and if you can remember what it is from the first time around you are probably too old to be there.
The food offering is primarily pizza but it is done really well and very reasonably priced. It just fits so well in this bar where the accent is on loud, laid-back fun and gaming. The cocktail list completes the unique offer of this bar with several specialist cocktails designed to complement the generous portions of pizza. Our favourite is the Whisky “Rumble” (bourbon, fresh lemon juice and Giffard Abricot du Roussillon Premium Liqueur).
Le Napoléon – 73 Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, 75010 Paris
The first thing that anyone says about Le Napoléon is ‘great service’, a rare compliment indeed in Paris. Le Napoléon gets so many things right that it is always heaving with full tables inside and out. The food is very good and keenly priced which makes it popular with locals, students and more than a few Englishmen on their way to and from the rugby at nearby Stade de France. A large bust of Napoleon looks down from the architrave and one can sense a slight frown crossing his brow as jug after jug of Pimms is consumed below.
Le Napoléon sits on the corner of Rue du Faubourg and Rue des Petites Écuries and the open double aspect makes for two very pleasant terraces. The cocktail menu is compact but each of them is beautifully made and always served with a smile.
La Quincaillerie – 76 Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, 75010, Paris
Quincaillerie literally means hardware store and perhaps at one time it was. Now however, La Quincaillerie is a very chic bistro with good reviews for its food as well as a night time cocktail destination. The venue is light and airy, mid-sized and what the French would describe as a loft. The bar itself is semi-circular and sitting in the middle of the place it acts as focus. The chairs and barstools are all odd sizes and the tables follow a similar theme, reminiscent of London’s gastro-pubs in the ’90s.
One of La Quincaillerie’s great strengths is its ever evolving menu. There are one or two house favourites but nothing stays on the menu for too long and there is always a good selection of specials and that goes for the cocktails too. Constant reinvention require creativity and a healthy measure of confidence. We really enjoyed the cocktail of the day on our last trip, the Western Conference (Tequila, Giffard Triple Sec, orange, pamplemousse, chili, lemon and grenadine).