La Cave de Don Doudine, 75018

don doudine
(c) Martin Parr

There’s been a huge hullaballoo around the opening of la Brasserie Barbes this week. Apparently, we’re supposed to be up in arms about how the area around Barbes-Rochechouart station is being reclaimed by hipsters.

Apparently, (if you take notice of what people who previously only ever dared to go as far as Tati say) it’s scandalous how a bar designed to appeal to everyone is actually an exclusive club reserved only to those stupid enough to want to spend 5 euros on a coffee or upwards of 8 euros on a beer.

— I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of the New York Times article in 2013 about How Hipsters Ruined Paris? (But fortunately there were counter-articles, such as this one on Paris by Mouth.) — 

If only the people who write the articles and who speak on television – dare I mention the famous words “no-go-zone“?? – actually LIVED here? Yes, here, in this neighbourhood. The ghetto. Yes. Here.

If they did, they’d realise that the 18th is one of the most culturally interesting arrondissements. It can change from the picturesque Amélie Poulain scenes of the Café des Deux Moulins, to the old Pigalle hostess bars by just crossing a boulevard. Equally, you can walk from the Islamic Cultural Centre to the Ganesh Hindu Temple in just a couple of minutes. Yes, there are places (such as around Château Rouge métro station) where you don’t want to linger (but it is safe to walk through)… and there is certainly also room for a high-end café/ restaurant/bar, even in a place like Barbes.

Gosh, this is Water. Off a Duck’s back.

Actually, I watch this general expulsion of hot air and find it really quite amusing. Those who live here know that there have long been seriously good places in this neighbourhood: Table d’Eugene, for example, on rue Eugene Sue, which finally won its first much-deserved Michelin star last year. Supercoin, for its craft beers. Café Lomi, for its craft coffee. Bob’s Bake Shop for its bagels and 2 euro unlimited coffee.

Another such example is La Cave de Don Doudine. A shoe-box-sized cave catering to the local community rather than passing tourists; a grandfatherly figure supplying his neighbour with good booze.

You find craft beers (from the neighbouring Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or, naturally!) As well as some natural wines (e.g. Drappier Brut Nature, Christian Binner and the Domaine des Poithiers to give you just a taste.) There are top-range whiskies from LMDW such as Nikka From the Barrel, Great King Street from Compass Box, Calva from Christian Drouin… all rubbing shoulders with artisanal ice-cream-maker La Tropicale.

Generally only open in the afternoon until early evening, it’s worth remembering that they’re open both morning and afternoon on Saturdays. This area of the Goutte d’Or.

P.S. They’re also the masterminds behind the local wine bar and restaurant Le Tout-Monde which opened in Jan 2014 and is located at number 4 rue Affre, 75018.

If you really want to be avant-garde, head there to drink your craft beer and I can guarantee, it will cost less than eight euros!

Essential Information

Address: 16 rue Myrha, 75018
Telephone: 01 42 54 98 50
Website: Facebook
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday 16h-21h; Saturday from 10h30-13 and 16h-21h; also Sunday mornings 10h30-13h.

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