Le Comptoir Général
Take an autumnal evening stroll along the Canal Saint-Martin at quai de Jemmapes, and you can’t miss the gathering of stylish locals, all queuing up outside a mysterious, literal hole-in-the-wall. As this is Paris, there’s no doubt that this is one of the city’s up-and-comer hotspots – and indeed this hip hang is the ghetto-inspired Le Comptoir Général, the not-for-profit ghetto museum-cum-bar, set in a multi-themed 600 sq m shabby-chic barn of curiosities, distressed walls, mismatched recycled furniture, and chequered tile floors.
By day, African-inspired curiosities – including a voodoo witchcraft cabinet, a mini-museum on the Françafrique political past, and an overgrown indoor garden dubbed ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ on the lower floor, with a second-hand ‘market’ on the upper mezzanine level – are the main attractions. But when the sun goes down, the bar and restaurant come alive with revellers ordering up the rotating selection of Asian and African street foods from yakitori skewers to chicken curries to Senegalese dibiteries, and pairing them with Africa-imported beers and Creole-inspired cocktails, including their icy signature Secousse with vodka, hibiscus syrup, cucumber and passion fruit juice. Meanwhile, others come to enjoy the revolving roster of movie screenings and jumping soundtracks curated by expert DJs. Get in line!
80 quai de Jemmapes / 10th / +33 1 44 88 24 46 / till 1am daily / lecomptoirgeneral.com