Paris {10th}: Le Comptoir Général

Oct 28, 2013

A ghetto museum- that’s pretty interesting I remember thinking not too long ago when I first heard about this place on Canal Saint-Martin. On Saturday we decided to give it a go and check out this place that sounded so random and the pictures actually reminded me of the ruin bars in Budapest. So obviously I was pretty excited to find out this hideout!

Talking about hideouts...the place has so well-hidden entry that unless you know the exact address, it’s likely that you walk right pass it. So did we, with Google maps, address and two pairs of eyes. After finding the place (which is a gate next to some wall graffiti), we followed the way to a courtyard where the actual entrance is. The lady at the door told us to get in and put the camera away…our initial reaction- whaaaat?! Later on it turned out that it was fine to take photos, perhaps it was just the corridor and its wall art? Anyway, the entrance ‘contribution’ was a couple of euros each (no fixed price), but I guess it’s better to come with few coins in your pocket than ask for change…

Once inside, we took a look around the different spaces: a huge ‘living’ room full of alternative art, a tiny outdoor garden, an upstairs flea market and another room with foods, drinks and more artsy objects and things. We didn’t first know what to make of it all, and bobos people seemed to just chill out there and do their own poetry thing.

Apparently every now and then they host other businesses like the RockawayTaco (from New York) this weekend, and thus the African influenced ambiance was temporarily leaned towards a Latin American experience. After getting around every room and space in that complex, we sat down for some tacos and drinks before heading out.


PROS: Alternative atmosphere with cool spaces to hangout, artsy things and objects to discover, various ‘projects’ and exhibitions to bring out the ghetto culture and its influence. All in all depending on your interest level, this place can be extremely intriguing.  

CONS: We were bit confused about the ‘no photo’ policy at the entrance (when everyone was still able to photograph inside…), for a place that’s emphasising culture of poor the prices for drinks & bites were little high-end. I would rather say it’s a place to see and experience once, but probably I wouldn’t call it our new hangout spot…

How to get there?
Lines 11, 5, 8, 9 - République, Line 11 - Goncourt, Line 5 - Jacques Bonsergent

Read more about Le Comptoir Général here


  • Edna said...

    I've only been here once and it was at night, and it seemed to have a whole different vibe! Chilled out, hipster-y, pretty cool. Was also the first and only time I've tried African beer!

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