Paris-Bastille and the Marais
May 11, 2018
The area around the rue Oberkampf has, in recent years, become one of the hippest corners of Paris. Though less obviously chic than the Left Bank, it’s home to some of the city’s coolest bars among them is the funky Panic Room, a lively, pulsing space offering above-average cocktails and a decent sound system. Spread across two-storeys (the live acts are usually downstairs, the cocktail bar upstairs), the colourful, stylised graffiti décor sets the urban chic theme, and the music is cranked up high (it’s possibly not the best place for an intimate date). The mirror-walled room is bathed in a soft pink neon glow, though the low, illuminated curved ceilings in the basement might not be the best option for those of a claustrophobic nature, or when the place gets busy and, boy, does it get busy you might find yourself taking the name a little too literally. But if tight spaces don’t bother you, there’s plenty to enjoy: the young, friendly bar tenders know their business and their drinks are reasonably priced and well executed, if not of the very highest calibre they tend to err on the sweet side. (The 6.30-8 happy hour is extremely popular, offering both cocktails and champagne at knock down prices). But drinks are only part of picture the venue has a fun, buzzing atmosphere. It’s vibrant and alive, packed to the rafters with a crowd of young, fashionable types revelling in the ‘chic and trash’ theme and grooving to the sounds of local DJs and live acts courtesy of the Goldrush Collective. Should it be too cold or wet to smoke outside, there’s also an indoor Fumoir for the tar-lunged to indulge without getting a chill.