Looking for something….different? Sometimes it seems like everything in Paris starts to look the same. There are the “trendy” bars with their “design” decor, the “ol’ Paris” bars with their faux-retro look, the typical brasseries, the hyped up Asian-themed bars…whatever.
Last week I went to a very different place. I met a friend for a drink in the Butte-aux-Cailles.We wandered past all of the bars on the Rue de la Butte aux Cailles and down towards rue de Tolbiac. “There’s a really weird place I pass while walking the dogs, let’s go there,” I suggest. “Weird?” he asks. How to explain…it seems that Les Funambules (204 rue de Tolbiac, 13th) wouldn’t be out of place in the United States. It has a sort of circus theme going, with colored lights, balloon lamps, striped awning outside, little fiber optic stars on the ceiling…there are booths and a raised area with a huge white grand piano.
I guess it looks a bit like a cross between TGIFs and Bobby McGee’s (for those of you on the west coast). They had a full menu of food and beverages and cocktails. I had a hankering for hot chocolate (which tends to win out over the urge for alcohol, go figure), and they had “chocolat à l’ancienne” on the menu, so we both ordered it. While waiting, you get a little bowl of marshmallows. Stragely, the place was not full of children (there were two or three), but of actual adults. I half expected to see a clown serve the chocolate, but no. It was served on a little tray with two separate little containers of hot milk and melted chocolate that you mix yourself into asilver (probably stainless steel) cup . Serious stuf! Apparently there’s live music Thursday-Saturday nights. Worth checking out for the “fun” atmosphere. A bit bizarre, quand-même!
The starry ceiling and striped circus tent canopy (left).
PS They also happen to be a WiFi hotspot, woo hoo!