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Entries in Bastille (2)


Paris Nightlife - East Paris

The Bastille, once the only decent place to get a drink east of the Marais, has been upstaged by the edgy bars and clubs in the converted ateliers of Belleville, Oberkampf, and Ménilmontant. The cobbled street of Rue de Lappe remains popular, however, especially with international students attracted by Happy Hour deals at Le 66 and Havanita. Crowds then hit Le Balajo to go dancing (the Lady Pass entitles girls to free entry before 2am and free Kir Royale for groups of 5+), but remember that dance music is only on at weekends – the rest of the time you might encounter salsa, rock and roll or even a tea dance! In fact, salsa lovers are well-catered for in the area, with the immense grandeur of Barrio Latino channeling Cuban vibes throughout the night.

Heading north and up Rue Oberkampf to Ménilmontant, the crowds get increasingly trendy and Parisian. Hip bars such as Lou Pascalou are ten-a-penny and often feature music and art as well as reasonably priced drinks. Belleville is close by and continues the string of arty hangouts, as well as places like Aux Folies – a little rough around the edges, but plenty of charm and buzzing at night.

The nearby Canal St-Martin is lined with both trees and bohemian-bourgeois bars. Notable highlights include Le Point Ephémère and Le Comptoir Général, where hipsters recline on vintage chairs and sip African-inspired cocktails. Find one of the more scenic dance spots at Rosa Bonheur, a cozy lodge with a view over the gorgeous Buttes Chaumont park during the day and a busy but friendly club on weekend evenings.


China Club becomes Le China

Le China
50 rue de Charenton

Tel: 01 43 46 08 09

The China Club was one of the hottest venues in the Bastille district for over 15 years when it closed in early 2008. But since then, it has been reopened under the ownership of Jean-François Roux (owner of Chez Janou by Place des Vosges). There is still a Franco-Asian fusion restaurant (not highly recommended from what I've read) and the fabulous Colonial-style Asian decor reminiscent of 1930s Shanghai, perfect backdrop for sipping cocktails with a hot date. Think black lacqueur, red velour, candle lighting, comfy sofas...

The Chin Chin Club, "salon dansant" downstairs continues to host live musicians and primarily music for slow dancing.

Open daily.