Le P’tit Bar: A Time Capsule in Paris

By

4th Sep, 2012

Image via MerciAlfred.com

At 9 meters squared, Le Pt’t Bar is literally the most petit bar in Paris.  Inside, a ninety-something year-old bartender, known as Madame Polo , her slightly over-fed gray cat and a cage of canaries are your hosts. Serving Belgian beer, Calvados and wine in her surreal post-war era time machine, Madame Polo squeezes in a diverse and loyal clientele that includes locals of the 11eme arrondissement, South American and British ex pats, young Parisian bobo and war veterans alike.

Madame Polo at her bar


Le Pt’t Bar has no phone, certainly no website and seems to have slipped through the cracks in an age of excessive health and safety regulations. Old books are piled up on any available surface, posters of animals cover the walls and trinkets of the past from around the world hang from hooks and shelves. Old bottles and half-washed glasses accumulate, indicating Madame Polo isn’t too keen on doing the washing up and the stale air tells of a place unchanged since its opening in 1965.

So how does a ninety-something grandmother manage to keep this little bar going all on her own, seven days a week until 2AM? (She may just be the oldest bartender in Paris).

“I thought to close the bar many times, especially after my husband’s death, but you know, here I have my bar, and I see people. Some clients have come for more than 25 years, they feel good here and me too, as long as I have my head and I’m able to stand.”

You couldn’t invent this place if you tried, nor Madame Polo’s stories of owning a bar in Paris all her life; a surreal drinking experience in a true Parisian time capsule.

Order one of her legendary bottles of  Belgian beer at €3, Calvadodos for €2,5 or a glass of wine for €1,80. For the time travel of course, there is no price.

Le P’tit bar,
7 rue Richard Lenoir 75011 Paris
Open Monday to Saturday from 11h30am – 2am, Sundays from 8pm- 2am.

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.


You Might Also Like

Comments

More in Don't Be A TouristHow to start a subcultureInspiration VaultLife is MessyOff-Beat & Little KnownPeople / Icons / Muses

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

tokyobath14

An Intimate Look inside a 1950s Tokyo Bath House

Caution, this post will make you feel like a bit of a peeping Tom. We're about to take a rather voyeuristic tour of a Japanese bath house in the year 1951, with LIFE photographer Michael Rougier. It...

Trending 11,927
arch7

My Parisian Studio in Tokyo, Japan

Photographic studio spaces can be wondrous little places, sort of like your own private theatre set without the audience. This particular studio that I virtually stumbled upon in downtown Tokyo, has...

Trending 4,894
springbreak32

Spring Break in the 1980s: Big Hair, Tiny Swimwear

For eleven years, photographer Keith McManus followed the tequila-fueled escapades of Spring Breakers at Daytona Beach, Florida. Between 1982 and 1993, he made the annual voyage with his Leica came...

Trending 30,477