The desire to found the Experimental Cocktail Club goes back as far as they can remember – they just didn’t know that’s what they would call it. They, Romée de Goriainoff, Pierre-Charles Cros, and Olivier Bon, spent a lifetime planning the perfect venture that would join their passions for food, drink, and old-fashioned hard work. Today, these three minds are credited for rejuvenating and refining the cocktail culture in Paris, and around the world.
Rewind to 2005, when the mixology scene in New York had just ignited. While sipping spirits at the iconic LES speakeasy, Milk & Honey, the three were amazed and inspired that there, the cocktail served a higher purpose. Gone were the days of fulfilling the basic need of quenching thirst: alcoholic beverages were created with skill and regarded as art.
With the founding of the first Experimental Cocktail Club (ECC) in Paris, the guys found a way to create a need for something people didn't even know existed – an experience in the art of cocktails, the pleasure of enjoying a handcrafted beverage, in an unsurpassable ambiance. They perfected their cocktail identity, and today, have become a benchmark brand. After opening the original Paris ECC, they expanded to the Curio Parlor, another left-bank cocktail haunt, followed by Prescription Cocktail, La Companie des Vins Surnaturels, their first wine bar, and most recently, The Beef Club and its bar, The Ballroom.
The Experimental Cocktail Group plans to open three new locations in 2013. Huddled in The Ballroom, Romée, Olivier and Pierre-Charles shared exclusively with LUXOS that Paris would welcome The Fish Club this season. A new raw bar and seafood den, featuring fresh, high quality ingredients, and of course, killer cocktails.
Here’s our rundown on the six Experimental Cocktail Group bars in Paris that are not to be missed.
The Fish Club (opening in May 2013)
The latest addition to the ECG family is The Fish Club, aptly named in the same style as it's sister restaurant, The Beef Club. Located just down the street from the trendy meat lover's haven, The Fish Club will be highlighting the fruits of the sea, such as fresh ceviche, oysters, and caviar by Pointy Snout. Between the refreshing menu items and the group's track record for killer drinks, The Fish Club will be the hottest Paris restaurant opening of the summer.
Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau
The Beef Club & The Ballroom
The newest opening from the ECC trio, The Beef Club is bringing the New York vibe to the chic Etienne Marcel neighbourhood of Paris’ right bank. The menu features, you guessed it, beef, by the star butcher Yves-Marie le Bourdonnec. From the décor and warm lighting, to the bustling and boisterous crowd, it’s the perfect restaurant to enjoy with a group of friends. Be sure to reserve a table here, as they fill up quickly, and the best cuts go first. After dinner, spiral downstairs into the cocktail lair, that is, The Ballroom. Gentlemen beware, the old-fashioned doorman will request you head down the treacherous stairs first. Once inside, it’s easy to lose track of the night, sipping away on artisanal cocktails and dancing to jazz classics, or whatever the DJ of the night fancies.
58, rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, 75001 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)9 5437 1365
Experimental Cocktail Club
The first of their cocktail bars that started the cocktail revolution in Paris, the Experimental Cocktail Club is located behind a discreet door on a tiny street just off of the bustling market street, rue Montorgueil in the 2nd arrondissement. Inside this velour-lined drinking den, cocktails are fresh and the atmosphere guarantees a good time.
37 Rue St-Sauveur, 75002 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 4508 8809
Prescription Cocktail Club
By far the most dapper cocktail bar in Saint Germain, Prescription Cocktail Club features two stories of nooks and crannies perfect for cozying up and tasting your way through their killer cocktail menu. The third of five high-design drinking dens by the Experimental guys, this bar was a precursor to the speakeasy vibe of the Ballroom blended with the low-key ambiance of the Experimental Cocktail Club.
23 Rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 4634 6773
Opened just after the original Experimental Cocktail Club, Curio Parlor is equal parts speakeasy and curiosity cabinet. Sipping craftsman cocktails while surrounded by Deyrolle-esque taxidermy is just the right amount of rococo meets trendy Paris. The main level is framed by the bar featuring vials and bottles of essences and rare extracts, while downstairs, DJs get the party going.
16 rue des Bernardins, 75006 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 4407 1247
La Companie des Vins Surnaturels
While the Experimental Cocktail Group is all about cocktails, they forayed into the art of the wine bar with this swanky left-bank location. Incredible wines are served both by the glass and bottle, and the list changes daily. Velvet-swathed cushions, a friendly bar staff, and candlelight are all you need to feel at home here.
7 rue Lobineau, 75006 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)9 5490 202