Q: How do you want it?
A: Anyway you want to give it to me and the dirtier the better!
That’s what I imagined the patrons who frequented the brothel that Dirty Dick bar once was used to say when they entered the establishment. The sex may have been replaced by dirty cocktails but the name of the establishment remains – Dirty Dick and this girl likes it D-I-R-T-Y when she has a solo apero here in Paris.
I know there are plenty of people who lament the rise of the hipster bars and restaurants of South Pigalle in what was once seedy, sex drenched Pigalle where Le Moulin Rouge still stands but I think maybe they are looking back with a heavy dose of la vie en rose glasses. If you want to go and experience the real Pigalle then instead of turning left out of Pigalle metro walk straight and head towards Le Moulin Rouge and you’ll see the sex shops that get seedier the closer you get to the Can Can playing windmill establishment and as you get closer clutch tighter to your bag, wallet etc. It’s bloody sad and there is nothing fabulous about the real Pigalle of drunks and the sex on offer. Just to top it off, seeing Le Moulin Rouge for the first time is like seeing the Mona Lisa – it’s a lot smaller and less impressive up close.
This was my favourite place to have a solo apero in Paris last year, it opened in April 2013, and in my opinion the best reuse of a brothel ever. It’s small and dark inside keeping with its’ origins plus a curious twist of turning it into a tiki bar but keeping that lounge feel so there is lots of red, low lighting mixed with wicker chairs etc. The other attraction is there is a fumoir. I know that when I go out with friends for at least part of the time I will be left alone as everyone runs outside for a smoke well at Dirty Dick there’s no need to brave the cold – oh no. Just go to the back of the bar and pull open the glass door and enter smoker’s paradise. Yep a glass smoking room with chairs. If that is not wild enough concept then head to the toilets after a cocktail or two. Are there birds in the toilets? No you aren’t that drunk truly it is bird song playing in one of the cleanest toilets in Paris! Ah and clean toilets are a rarity in Paris – I was once told the following joke: why do the Belgians call it la toilette and the French les toilettes? Well in France you need to look in lots of toilets just to find a clean one! You might laugh but it’s true and it is usually bars run by foreigners – Dirty Dick is run by an American – that is the reason it is so clean.
The Drinks/Le Verre
A tiki bar that serves all manners of concoctions like a zombie and other things that are served flaming filled with straws and other paraphernalia. Flaming drinks make me think what if I knock it over and set fire to myself – nah – I would have just ordered Jack and felt happy but the cocktails here are so good. They are made fresh and pack a punch from the get go. I’ve had the missionary downfall but tonight I certainly didn’t need to be falling down anywhere, especially not on a school night, so went for the daiquiri served naked no strawberry or other such pollution just rum, lime, sugar. It was so good and strong – another one of those and well everyone starts looking handsome in the dark. Thank goodness I have a one cocktail rule when I drink solo!
Where? 10 rue frochot, 75009 Paris
How? Metro Pigalle line 2 or 12
Open when? 18 to 02:00
Pricey? Standard really daiquiri €8 other cocktails and flaming concoctions around €12