Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (www.eyepreferparistours.com), and also writes a popular insider's blog www.eyepreferparis.com.
Up until a few years ago, the only place in Paris to get a decent cocktail was at the formal bars of five-star hotels like the Ritz and the George V. In recent years a spate of new, intimate, cocktail bars have opened with much popularity.
The name is unforgettable but the owners of Sherry Butt want you to also remember the special taste of the hand mixed, original cocktails. Eleven cocktail creations have been conjured up and the more exotic cocktails include ‘Shimbashi’ made with Japanese whisky, Fino sherry, and bitters and Belle en Bulle made with pisco, pear syrup, lemon and Champagne. The owners learned heir mixing magic powers working at a small chain of popular cocktails bars including The Experimental Cocktail Club, Curio, and Prescription, so they know their stuff and how to please cocktail craving Parisians. Tucked away on an offbeat street in the Marais, rue Beautreillis, Sherry Butt shares the dubious distinction of being located across the street from the apartment Doors band member Jim Morrison died in by overdosing in his bathtub. The bar also serves light bites and DJ spins retro tunes on the weekend.
20 rue Beautreillis
Josephine Baker, the American legendary dancer and singer who was the rage of Paris in 1930s and 1940s, has inspired many generations after her with her free spirit and love of nightlife. Her latest influence can be experienced at Josephine, a new bar with an Art Deco look and feel to it. The fully stocked bar has a large range of cocktails, whisky, and wine in a nostalgic Art Deco setting. The sophisticated cocktail list includes the Apricot Reviver – gin, Kina l’Avion d’Or, rosemary-infused apricots, lemon and of course the Joséphine – chartreuse, calvados, line, absinthe, and grapefruit zest. Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, foie gras, duck tartare, and crispy frites are just a few of the appetizing nibbles served. DJs spin retro rock and jazz on Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights. Josephine has a smoking room in the back, a rarity for Paris these days since the city passed the no smoking law in all indoor public places five years ago.
25 rue Moret, 75011
La Mary Celeste Bar
Ex-New Yorkers Adam Tsou and Josh Fontaine, along with Colombian Carina Soto Velasquez, attained immediate success when they opened the first genuine Mexican taqueria, Candelaria, in Paris in 2011. Riding on the coattails of their success they created Glass, a hit cocktail bar. Glass has now spawned the trio’s newest venture, La Mary Celeste Bar. The name is derived from a legend about a merchant ship from 1872 that sunk en route from New York to Genoa, with 1,701 barrels of grain alcohol onboard.
The cozy, homey bar is set on three levels, the first one with seating for 40+, the lower level an open kitchen with additional seating, and the third floor a work & storage space.
La Mary Celeste’s strong suit is the extensive selection of microbrewery beers with some from Brooklyn on tap. It also has an impressive wine list, and it goes without saying, custom cocktails, shaken and stirred by Carlos, the well-known mixologist who was snatched away from L’Hotel after 6 years.
Oysters, tacos, & Chinese buns are among the tasty bites to help soak up the alcohol. A relic from the past, an authentic turntable, has DJ’s spinning 80s music on vinyl.
1 rue de Commines, 75003