Quick Take: Sister Midnight, opened by Red House duo, brings a little gritty glam to the Pigalle cocktail scene.
Joseph Boley and Jen Riley of Red House have channeled their cool creativity into a new project which recalls the glam rock’n’roll attitude of a bygone era – and it’s an era worth revisiting. While Red House might be like your fun-loving, righteous cousin who you always want to party with, Sister Midnight is like your big sister who has an edgy sense of style and a nonchalant self-possession – plus she lets you hang out with her!
While cocktails may be going more mainstream in Paris, this space doesn’t feel mainstream. No big name designers have revamped the bar, but rather they remodeled with spirit of unapologetically, unpolished but yet sparkly 70’s trash glam. The walls are an intense blue and the bar glossy black. There are faux fur banquets lit by disco balls and fabric and fringe lampshades made by Jen, herself. Their Instagram is a stream of sequins and feathers and sparkles and leather. Even the gravel-synth sounds of the song by Iggy Pop in collab with David Bowie which inspired the name seems to nicely sum up Sister Midnight bar’s personality.
Following the growing (and, frankly, refreshing) trend of more simplicity both behind the cocktail bar and on the menu, there are 12 cocktails on offer ranging in price from 8 to 12 Euros and divided into sections for aperitos, all night long and after dark choices. The Aperitivo includes easy going options like the vodka based Sister Collins, which surprisingly isn’t the most frequently ordered cocktail on the menu (apparently the current crowd is ordering more of La Colombe with a tequila and mezcal base). Or you can go a little more hardcore and start your night with an amero and house-made seltzer.
The selection includes smart classics like the Old Pal that would be familiar to cocktail buffs but still don’t get a lot of play in Paris. Some options riff on the classics like the Violet Chackhi which basically adds some fizz to an aviation. And their gimlet involves a bit of bergamot and comes straight up or long (which is a good option for the “all night long” section) Rather than an overwhelming array, there is a little something for everyone. (Having tasted through a fair few, my personal favorite of the moment? The Yellow Bird.)
Further establishing their legit status, they have ploughman’s platters a la Emperor Norton with cheese, pickled egg, tomato chutney and Midnight rye bread as “black as your soul”. They also serve beer and wine – plus some brut nature grower champagne in the house.
4 rue Viollet-le-Duc