Bonne fête à Paris!
Paris, nightlife capital of Europe? It might sound incroyable, but those Parisians have been shaking their derrieres and mixing up the cocktails like nobody’s business recently. Nikki Ridgway selects five must-visit bars and boites to celebrate Bastille Day
Club Silencio Opened during fashion week last October, film director David Lynch’s Silencio Club was an instant hit with the style set. Behind a discreet entrance on rue de Montmartre, the subterranean space is divided into distinct, somewhat surreal rooms: a stage area complete with reflective dance floor, an art library, a cave-like lounge under arched ceilings and a 24-seat cinema. Snag an invite from a member and go early, or get in line with the masses for admission after midnight.
Wanderlust Not so much a club as a hipster party campus in the 13th, Wanderlust opened last month within Paris’ riverside Les Docks complex. Start with a meal at Benjamin Darnaud’s industrial indoor/outdoor restaurant, watch an art house flick at the 80-seat rooftop cinema then head to the 17,000-square-foot terrace for a dance party with city and Seine views. Brit house duo Waifs & Strays play the weekly “Baignade Interdite” night this Bastille Day.
Le Baron André Saraiva is the undisputed roi of French nightlife, and if you manage to get past the bouncer at his diminutive, subterranean joint, you’ll understand why. The vibe is refreshingly unpretentious, the music suitably hip-swaying, and the crowd, on our visit at least, unfailingly friendly. If Paris isn’t in your future, check out the club’s New York outpost, which opened in Chinatown in February.
Ballroom du Beef Club This underground den mixes up Parisian trends: it’s a speakeasy, serving artisanal cocktails, concealed beneath a restaurant specializing in, you guessed it, beef, the city’s meat of the moment. The first French foray from London-based Experimental Cocktail Club, which also recently hopped the pond to NYC, the tin-ceilinged bar serves an imaginative array of punches, smashes and juleps.
No Comment A sexy spot on rue de Ponthieu, No Comment attracts a well-groomed, moneyed crowd who chain-smoke on the dance floor, pin themselves against the leopard-print covered corridors and hide out in the low-lit alcoves. Thursday is the most popular night, but you’ll need your very best French to sweet talk your way past the surly doormen.