114 rue Amelot, 75011
Tucked away in the high Marais, on rue Amelot in the 11th arrondissement you will find an ancient Belle Epoque zinc bar which until not long ago despite it being a quirky and charming little spot, was getting a little tired and dusty.
However thanks to new owners Sven Chartier and Ewen Lemoigne, teamed up with Japanese chef Atsumi Sota, Clown Bar has had a breath of fresh air blown through its doors.
Located down the road from the Cirque d’Hiver, the 20 sided winter circus, decorated with equestrian motifs and corinthian columns which was opened by the Emperor Napoleon III in the winter of 1852 back when it was known as Cirque Napoléon.
The venue has provided performance space for equestrian shows, fashion parades, concerts and its long running winter circus.
Since the mid 1800’s clowns and acrobats have strolled down to the nearby Clown Bar to unwind and artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec could have been found here sipping on a glass of wine while adding finishing touches to his sketches he had created inspired by the circus performers.
Although the historic listed bar opened in 1902, it wasn’t until the 1920’s that the decorated ceramic tiles, depicting clowns in various positions and the elegantly painted glass ceiling was installed, along with an ever increasing collection of clown paraphernalia.
Now what you will find in the next chapter in the life of the ancient Clown Bar is very good quality French food with a slight Japanese twist, cool cutlery stored in sneaky drawers under the table, organic wines with a sommelier who knows his stuff and the slightly shabby chic zinc bar turned into a hip bistro to hang out in.
Even if you only pop in for a glass of wine to admire the decor, you won’t be disappointed but be warned to book in advance, it has become very popular since the re-opening and if you can get a table, I suggest you snap it up and try out the great food.
If you have found this information useful or interesting, please leave a comment or follow me on facebook for daily tips, photos and anecdotes. Your feedback encourages me to keep this site up to date. Merci!
Places nearby :
- Bastille MarketsThe Bastille Markets are everything you could hope for in a typical Parisian Market; vibrant, colourful, delicious and intoxicating.
- Petit Fer a ChevalThis charming, historic bar in the 4th arrondissement and the heart of the Marais, is my all time favourite. Great food, full of character and friendly staff.
- MerciSitting at the end of a cobbled lane-way, is a tiny red car with the number plate; Merci. You have just arrived at the stylish and innovative concept store.
- Maison de Victor HugoNestled in a corner of Place des Vosges, is the former home of famous author of the Hunchback of Notre Dame; Victor Hugo.
You might also like :
- Belle Époque BrothelsLavish brothels dotted around Paris during the Belle Epoque were easily identifiable, some relics exist today, if you know what to look for.
- Square de MontsourisA hidden jewel, begging to be discovered. Eclectic maisons wrapped in greenery, unseen by most tourists to Paris.
- Secret Garden Hôpital Hôtel-DieuA secret garden in an unusual location, right in the centre of Paris that thousands of tourists pass by each day without knowing it exists.
- La GalcanteVintage periodicals and books fill this small quirky, off the beaten path shop in a secluded courtyard where you may find the perfect Parisian souvenir.
- Lavirotte Building and Square RappExquisite Art Nouveau building with one of the most beautiful doors in Paris & a tiny square that offers a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower.
- Passage de l’AncreWho would know a delightful, tranquil little piece of paradise could be hidden away behind an unassuming crooked doorway in the heart of Paris.
- Rue CrémieuxA tiny paved street, that oozes charm, lined with pretty colourful houses that will take your breath away, still one of Paris' best kept secrets.
- Musée des Arts ForainsTransport yourself back in time. Ride spectacular antique carousels, play ancient fair-ground games and admire colourful memorabilia.
- Villa Olivier-MétraPretty cottages with colourful shutters line this serene leafy path with quaint personal touches added by residents who have a playful sense of humour.
- Bibliothèque Sainte-GenevièveA remarkable and historic reading room with its spectacular ceiling, books lining the vast long walls and rows of green reading lamps.
- St. Sergius Orthodox Theological InstituteHidden away on a leafy hill is the oldest Russian Orthodox Theological Institute in Western Europe.
- Restaurant Foyer de la MadeleineLurking deep in the cellars of L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine is one of Paris' best kept secrets, Restaurant Foyer de la Madeleine.
- An Angel in ParisSoaring high above, with it's delicate wings nestled under a fourth floor balcony and yet remarkably this rare Paris secret often goes unnoticed.
- Bibliothèque RichelieuMillions of books line the walls of this historic library under monumental ceilings and finally, it is open to the public.
- The Secret PassageThis lush and adorably sweet top secret passageway is a pure delight. Let me show you where to find it and how to gain entry. But sssh ... it's our secret.
- Passage BoudinCreeping vines, colourful flower boxes and an unusual semi-circular building that would be more at home in the Mediterranean is just some things you will find.
- Cité FloraleA secret micro village hidden away, in a small pocket, off the beaten path in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Discover why it is called the Floral City.
- La Butte aux CaillesA secret hideway with cobbled streets, a sweet village square, interesting street art and friendly, affordable cafés, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement.
- Rue de MouzaïaOff the beaten path, Rue de Mouzaia will make you feel blessed that you discovered this secret hideaway and it’s surrounds in the 19th arrondissement.
- Rue des ThermopyleApart from locals taking a short-cut, or Parisians on a quiet stroll, what you will find here is a wisteria filled, rustic cobbled pathway.
- Square Saint-Gilles Grand VeneurHidden away behind the Hôtel du Grand Veneur in the Marais is a little known secret square with a surprising artistic connection.
- Salvador Dali SundialMany people pass this hidden gem by Salvador Dali tucked away on the Left Bank of Paris unaware that they only need to look up.