Paris’ dix-huitième turns up oh-so fashionably late to the hipster hoedown courtesy of north-east nabe new kid, Brasserie Barbès.
Risen from the charred ashes of former fabric emporium Vano is hotspot Brasserie Barbès, helmed by professional gentrifiers Pierre Moussié and Jean Vedraine, who – along with their pals at Kitsuné – are almost single-handedly responsible for introducing the concept of hipster to the French capital.
In the same way that the duo’s Chez Jeanette enticed the beau monde to the once insalubrious rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, so too is Le Barbès tempting them further still from the Seine.
And for good reason. From the polished aggregate flooring and industri-chic warehouse lighting of the ground floor, to the Art Deco fittings and retractable glass roof upstairs, to the cocktail bar with adjoining recliner-clad rooftop bathed in the pink glow of Tati’s neon illuminations, tout en haut.
In terms of the menu, expect classic brasserie bites, plus standout sole meunière with tarragon purée, and maitre d’hotel butter ribs with rosemary and artichoke. The coffee’s organic, the beer is cold, and quel surprise, the prices are elevated for the endroit.
So what does Le Barbès mean for the area? Opinions are hotly contested between those who think it’s exactly what the doc ordered, and traditionalists who believe it isn’t right for the environs, but both the yay- and nay-sayers can agree on one thing – it’s the desti of the district.
Brasserie Barbès, 2 blvd Barbès, 18th, Paris, +33 1 42 64 52 23, brasseriebarbes.com