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.
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Places nearby :
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- 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.
- Bastille MarketsThe Bastille Markets are everything you could hope for in a typical Parisian Market; vibrant, colourful, delicious and intoxicating.
- 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.
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