When I first arrived in Paris to discover lock-ins and late night bars I regularly stayed out until sunrise -jusqu’au but de la nuit as the French would say. Now that the novelty of 24 hour partying has waned, I rarely find myself catching the first metro of the morning home after an evening out. Yet, every once in awhile, I still want to stay up past my bedtime. So, this month I went in search of the latest in late night bars and just as you’d expect in a city of this size, we’ve got all kinds.
First on the list: UC-61. This new venture from the crew behind la Conserverie is hidden away on a quiet street with virtually no external signage. I headed in just after the10pm opening time for a drink from Anaïs. The last time I saw Anaïs she was taking part in a cocktail competition that I was judging, so it was nice to catch up in more relaxed surroundings. She had me sample some of the floral water they’re using in their cocktails, which was rather nice. At her recommendation I tried La Vie en Deux, a curiously satisfying concoction of whisky, sherry, maple syrup and more. The décor diverges entirely from current trends with a German submarine theme. It’s off the beaten path location and slightly higher prices ensure an in-the-know crowd with a penchant for sophisticated and secluded sipping over something loud and showy.
But, there’s still plenty of basic beer on tap and a nice glass or two of wine. And, lots of sports on the telly. And a happy hour. Basically, they are what they claim to be: a Fine Spirits Pub. During my visit a wide age range of folk came and went and nearly all had a friendly word for the staff. The international crowd is crawling with Anglophones so if you’re looking to escape the French student bars in the area, WOS. is the place to go for unpretentious and rowdy fun that can last until 5am on weekends.
Lastly, I headed to my old stomping grounds of Pigalle, to check out newly opened for an early evening martini. I found Mickael - previously of le Carmen - behind the bar. Here, he’s traded in braces and bow ties for baseball caps and kicks. Night owls can order up one of 10 or so nicely priced house creations or a classic. Lipstick. plays on the naughty nature of the neighbourhood with tongue in cheek erotic décor from the suggestive wallpaper to the stripper pole front and center. But it’s all good fun in this laid back location, which is likely to pull in a loose and lively late night crowd of youngsters from Thursday to Saturday when they stay open until 4am. And, with neighbours like Dirty Dick and Glass (which stays open even later) rue Frochot is officially the Bermuda triangle of bars.
I, however, made it out as I was off to a birthday party in the neighbourhood…that, itself, lasted until7:30am. Paris, you do know how to party!
Written by Forest Collins