3 rue de Palestro, 2nd
M° Etienne Marcel
Tel 01 42 36 19 72
Open Mon-Sat 6pm-4am, Sun 6pm-2am.
Sometimes the whole trendy bar scene — with the bouncers, absurdly dressed fashion addicts, and the overpriced cocktails — gets a bit old. Sometimes I just want to go hang out with my friends in a fun and casual place where people don’t take themselves too seriously. A friend of mine invited me to Les Cariatides recently, his “local”, and each time I go back I like it more. Just around the corner from the Frog & Rosbif (my old local when I lived near Les Halles), this bar is on a tiny side street that you would probably never walk down unless you lived there.
Inside, a long room with tables at the front for those who want to sit or eat (they serve light food), and the bar at the back. The decor is “eclectic”…they have rotating artist exhibits, and there’s a palm tree with a stuffed monkey hanging from it. They serve an interesting selection of organic wines, whiskeys, Champagne, cocktails, beers, etc.
Downstairs is a vaulted cellar with a small stage where they have free nightly concerts of all different styles (one night I went had rock, the next night was hip-hop). Sometimes there are theatre productions, magic shows or DJs. A room next to that has another small bar and old mismatched sofas reminiscent of American college town coffee houses.
The great thing about this bar is that you can hang out downstairs if you want to dance or listen to the music, and upstairs if you want to be able to talk to your friends without shouting. The owners are two young and friendly Frenchmen, Dorian and Nicolas (who is also a magician…I’m a sucker for his card tricks). Most of the clientele are French and in the 25-35 age range, and everyone seems to know each other. And if you go more than once you’ll probably get to know them, too. 😉
It’s not at all as trendy as Wahloo or Wini June, the crowd is more laid back and friendly, IMHO. The atmosphere really depends on what’s going on down stairs, too, whether it’s a jazz band, a rock band, a magic show (tuesdays, I believe). You’ll just have to check it out! And if you meet Nico, tell him I sent you. 😉
Dear Heather,Thanks for the site. I liked your description of Wini June so much that I went with some friends a couple weeks ago. We had a great time – I loved the bric-à-brac/brocante décor and our waiter was really sweet and attentive.I am equally tempted by Les Cariatides. I have a friend visiting Paris from NYC. We both like casual, non-sceney places where there’s no list, but still "cool" à la Wahloo or Wini June – you know, good music low enough to talk, nice décor (nothing gimickey) and good cocktails. Live music (e.g., jazz) is always a nice option. Do you recommend Les Cariatides? We will be one guy and two girls.Take care,Lauren