Wednesday Cocktail Adventure: Just BE
Sometimes the Internet lies! I'd never heard anyone talk about Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre (DEPUR), the bar I'd planned to visit for this week's cocktail adventure, but it was all over the web - including their own website. On my way there,Violaine called me to say it wasn't at the address I'd given and no where to be seen. Conveniently, there was another bar at the same address, so we all met there instead. The very friendly barman informed us that DEPUR has been closed for the past two years - although there is talk of reopening it soon in a new location. Fortunately, this bit of cyber-misguidance led me to find an even better caiparinha happy hour than the one at Les Souffleurs a few weeks ago!
Just BE looks like a pretty typical cafe/bar that you'd find in Paris, but a bit sexy-ed up. The hot pink walls, over-sized candelabras & floating feathery angels' wings give it a touch of glamour-kitsch. We sat in the sweet little window nook on tatty but very comfy arm chairs. The drinks menu is extensive. They feature a large variety of house-infused vodkas, many many cocktails, special chocolate tipples, various warm wine concoctions and a long list of cachaca based drinks. And from 5 to 8pm it's happy hour(s)!* During this three hour time slot, caiparinhas, mojitos, cosmos and sangria are all to be had at 4 Euros.
I arrived a bit later than usual, so I flip-flopped my usual drink order and took advantage of the nearly finished happy hour with a caiparinha first. It was tasty, refreshing & super sippable . I followed up with a martini, which was heavy on the vermouth, but good. They've got Angostora bitters on hand & their gins are Hendrick's, Bombay Sapphire & Larios. I taste-tested a few of the house cocktails ordered by the others and found them to be quite nice for the price! The barman brought us some popcorn to nibble and we passed a couple of very pleasant hours in this upbeat little spot. Also, everyone remarked on how nice the bartender was, which is not something that always happens in Paris.
For cocktails in this price range (7 - 9 Euros) I think they're doing a nice job of it. While it's not up there with some of my top spots for high end drinks, this is a delightful choice if you're in the area. In fact, I'll be heading back there this weekend for a girls' night out (from 5 to 8!)
*update - Nicky and I headed to Just BE this past weekend and they have gone from having "happy hours" to being a "happy bar" where all cocktails (including champagne drinks) are all 5 Euros all the time. The French Kiss with fresh raspberry was nice and refreshing!
**update - I headed out to Just BE for an apero with friends the other night and have to report back that there has been a serious drop in the quality of the drinks. Of the 6 drinks ordered by the group, only one was a real winner. And they no longer have fresh raspberry or other fruit juices behind the bar. It seems they may have changed bar staff and I think the cocktail menu is suffering because of it. Perhaps a simple champagne based cocktail would still be a good bet here, given the prices, but otherwise, I'm not too happy with it.