Berlin’s Famed Paris Bar and it’s Legendary History

Easy to spot with its red-lit sign, Paris Bar is a legendary celebrity hotspot where Madonna Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson have visited. Open since the 1950s, notables have been visiting this hotspot for over 60 years. Set in Charlottenburg, this is an “old west” French brassiere serves up oysters and champagne. This diner-style restaurant serves high-end French fare, from foie gras to onion soup.

Art and film scenesters are known for building up the cosmopolitan reputation of the bar. The interior design is largely owed to artworks to Martin Kippenberger who paid his drink bills to the bar by offering artworks in exchange. Every piece of its wall features some of his artworks, though Kippenberger’s mural on the front wall had to be sold (as the restaurant faced threat of closing a few years back). Luckily, it’s still here. Many other pieces of art by Kippenberger lay still in place, making the bar a bit of a museum in itself. The Paris Bar as well has seen itself in a museum, as Kippenberger famously painted Paris Bar in his works.

The Austrian bar owner Michel Würthle is an artist who has schmoozed with the stars, landing himself roles in some feature films. He fell in love with Paris in 1964 and then moved to Berlin in 1971 to take over as bar, helping transform it into an unofficial social club.

An icon of Kantstraße (a street named after philosopher Immanuel Kant), this street runs parallel to Kurfürstendamm. Lined with the Theatres des Westens, the famed vintage Delphi Filmapalast and the renowned jazz club Quasimodo, it’s a worth walk to the leafy Savignyplatz, a park filled with bronze sculptures by August Kraus.

The best time to visit Paris Bar is in the afternoon for lunch to try their Steak Frites. If you’re dining with friends make reservations for the evening and sit out on the patio during the summer.

Paris Bar is located at Kantstrasse 152, 10623, Berlin. www.parisbar.net.

Photos by BlickSuchender, Leslie Vella and Art Images Directory.