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PATRICE JUAREZ (THINK : VIRGIL IN COMBATS) GUIDES YOU THROUGH THE CLUBS, BARS & RESTAURANTS OF GAY PAREE


AUBERGE INN : LE 912 FROM EGGHEAD TO EGGPLANT


Parisian eggheads used to tower over the international intellectual scene; now an egghead can be seen towering over the entrance to trendy eaterie Le 912 which was inaugurated 912 days before the year 2000.

Le 912 is located in the Bastille area, where the French Revolution started, and the Bright Young Things congregate on a nightly basis. Its muffled atmosphere, reminiscent of an English gentleman's club, is livened up with psychedelic, acid-drop colours and an exotic, oriental touch : Le 912 is an oasis in a world of watering-holes. The fare on offer is just as eclectic - a post-modernist hotchpotch of Spanish, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and French dishes. Travel round the world from the safety of your own plate!

If you're into fine wines, check out Le 912's Dionysiac happy hour : buy one bottle of plonk and get one free. You can either drink it immediately or ask the friendly staff to store it in their well-stocked cellar for your next visit. Can't say fairer than that.

On Sundays, you can get all clappy happy at Le 912's musical brunch which is served with a live gospel choir sunny-side up.

Patrice Juarez
(Translated by Andrew Gallix)


Le 912 : 20, rue de La Roquette, 75011 Paris, France.
Tel : 01 49 23 41 41.
Nearest metro station : Bastille.
Main course : 20 to 79 francs. Brunch : 79-99 francs. Tapas : 20 to 49 francs.



LE SWETTY'S CAFE :

THE CAFE FORMERLY KNOWN AS LE PIANO ZINC


Le Piano Zinc opened its doors in 1981 as a showcase for amateur singers, thus inventing karaoke long before it was imported from Japan. For almost two decades it was the Mecca of camp artistic nightlife in Paris.

Supported by Sixties pop star Françoise Hardy, Le Piano Zinc was relaunched as Le Swetty's Café in April 1999 after an extensive makeover. Henri and Guy have updated the concept, throwing the eponymous piano overboard in the process, but are seeking to preserve the spirit of this legendary bar located in the heart of the gay village (Le Marais).

Le Swetty's is one of a growing number of mixed bars catering for "filles et garçons," but it is not pronounced "sweetie's" for nothing : the clientele remains predominantly male and gay. As a result, it can get very sweaty (or should that be swetty ?) indeed, but, thankfully, they offer the longest happy hour in the village and the finest claret ! A free drink will be offered to all our readers, so what are you waiting for ?

Patrice Juarez
(Translated by Andrew Gallix)


Le Swetty's Café : 49, rue des Blancs-Manteaux, 75004 Paris, France.
Tel : 01 40 27 97 42.
Nearest metro stations : Rambuteau or Hôtel de Ville.
Drinks : 18 to 39 francs. Happy hour : 6 pm to 9.30 pm.




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