Lockwood nails the coffee and cocktails combo in Paris

73 Rue d’Aboukir
75002 Paris

With the emergence of a new breed of coffee bar, cocktails aren’t the only notable drinking trend to hit the capital over the past few years. Recently, three brothers have capitalized on both crazes in creating the Lockwood.

IMG_9233Paris’ latest It-spot combines three different drinking styles all under one roof with Brûlerie Belleville coffee and light snacks during the day, easy-going aperitif options early evening and serious cocktails from 8 p.m. onwards in the downstairs bar.

Upstairs, a large, clean glass front brightens things up while mellow wood tones and soft light keep it warm. Bottles hang from bungee cords above a small bar (reminding me of the setup up at the Tippling Club….), coffee filters serve as lampshades and customers cluster around high tables. Slip down the back stairs and you’ll find a collection of stone-vaulted rooms with low chairs and tables and a larger central bar. There the vibe is more conducive to nighttime drinking. The Lockwood feels both Parisian and international at the same time, which is no big surprise considering the team’s collective experience includes time at Silencio, Ten Belles, plus a few international endeavors.

IMG_9227The night I stopped in with Laurance, Thibaut and Regis, we started upstairs where the menu offers a dozen drinks that kick the night off nicely. The aperitif aspect is obvious with options including bitters like Aperol Spritz, Campari Orange, or Americano. There’s a Paloma on the menu, which has been coming into cocktail play a bit more recently plus a couple of hot options like mulled wine or Irish Coffee. My martini was enjoyable as were the Whiskey Pomme (Buffalo Trace and apple juice from the owners’ family orchards) and a Negroni. While there are no surprises, they are none needed to deliver a good drinking experience. It’s a solid and satisfying selection of aperitifs ranging from 7 to 12 Euros plus some beer, bubbles and wines.

IMG_9255The larger downstairs bar does things a bit differently with just under 20 cocktails at 11 to 15 Euros. The Zacapa old fashioned (old fashioned variation with Zacapa rum 23, house syrup of apple & cinnamon, orange and angostura) was nice, although ever so slightly sweet for my taste. The Whet Appetite is a similar to some options we’ve seen around Paris with its  combo of tequila, cool cucumber and a Tabasco heat. Their rendition of the Penicillin delivers the familiar smoke and honey flavors you’d expect.

IMG_9258Ingredients are fresh and preparation considerate. They aren’t overextending themselves but rather focusing on a manageable menu, which is key to successfully pulling off a concept that focuses on doing different things simultaneously.

On the night I was there, I not only enjoyed myself but noted there were plenty of booze and bar biz people in as well – which I take as a good sign. At this point, Paris is probably not desperate for another cocktail bar.  And, that’s why Lockwood is exactly the type of place the city now needs.  Its relaxed attitude, understated cool, and focus on quality ingredients are the right combination to satisfy the coffee connoisseur, casual early evening drinker as well as the late night bar crawler. Given their initial showing and reception, they are set to be a popular and prevalent force on the Paris drinking scene.  Fortunately they open from 8am onwards making it a venue worth a visit anytime of the day.


10 thoughts on “Lockwood nails the coffee and cocktails combo in Paris

  1. Forest, Just stopping by as I’m about to send you a mail, but what fun to have a visit with Lockwood though your eyes. Am a fan for both it and its location (I live nearby). Any idea why they’ve named it this? xx

  2. Daisy: I checked in with the people behind the bar and here’s what they have to say about the name:

    “The name comes from 3 things: first we liked the combinaison of the 2 words LOCK and WOOD , and there was a Alcohol supplier back in 1880 in London or England who had deliveries trucks stamped with LOCKWOOD SPIRITS on it … ANd we wanted a name that English and French could say it without difficulties.. “


    Etant un habitant du quartier et très curieux de découvrir ce nouveau bar original j’ai voulu y aller avec un ami, je me suis fait refouler comme un malpropre par leur videur très sympathique qui m’a dit “non” très brusquement sans aucune explication car il voulait sans doute que des habitués.

    Je pensais que c’était fini les établissements ringards qui, se croyant à la mode se permettent tous les excès avec une impolitesse sans nom.
    Pour ma part ce ne sera pas “ma nouvelle planque”, j’irai dans d’autres bars plus respectueux et qui n’ont pas ce petit pouvoir qui leur monte à la tête. Je laisse donc les pauvres habitués dans ce boui-boui

    J’ai laissé un commentaire similaire sur leur page Facebook, en espérant que l’établissement ait au moins l’honnêteté de le laisser, (et pourquoi pas me répondre?).
    Le petit mot a été, bien sûr, rapidement effacé.

    Leur succès leur est il si rapidement monté à la tête qu’on ne respecte plus les clients ?

    Il y a plein d’autres endroits à Paris du même type et le vent tourne….

  4. Igor:

    thanks for the additional info! I’m always appreciative when people leave a note about their experience in a place in hopes that a range of feedback will give the best overall idea of a spot. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience there – but it sounds like you have some other options – feel free to let us know in the comments which bars you think are doing a great job of things too. We really do like to hear from our reader!


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