Wine After Work
Paris is full of chic bars a vins to hit once the workday is done. Among the best are A La Cloche des Halles (28 Rue Coquilliere, 1e; +33-1-42-36-93-89), which serves delightful Saint-Joseph wines accompanied by delicious saucisson; Le Coude Fou (12 Rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 4e; +33-1-42-77-15-16), where you can get a full meal with your wine without breaking ac;40; and La Tartine (24 Rue de Rivoli, 4e; +33-1-42-72-76-85), named for its inexpensive open-faced sandwiches and popular with local seniors, artsy types, and gays.
Le Carre (18 Rue du Temple, 4e; +33-1-44-59-38-57; LeCarreParis.fr) is a chic gay bar and restaurant with fashionable clients and ultramodern decor. Sometimes you'll find the outdoor tables covered with actual living grass. Eat dinner or have drinks here until 1 A.M. on the terrace and people watch.
At Le Duplex (25 Rue Michel le Comte, 3e; +33-1-42-72-80-86; Duplex-Bar.com) a more colorful crowd congregates. Leave your coworkers behind and join the 30-something artistic types. Not just a bar, but also a salon (the discussion kind) and an art gallery, the owners feature the work of contemporary artists each month.
Start your early evening off at l'Open Cafe (17 Rue des Archives, 4e; +33-1-42-72-26-18; OpenCafe.fr), the classic watering hole of gay Paris, open for years and still a popular local and tourist favorite. Grab a seat and a beer and enjoy some of the best people watching you'll experience in gay Paris.
The Philippe Starck-designed Cafe Beaubourg (43 Rue St Merri, 4e; +33-1-48-87-63-96), a stylish two-level cafe facing the Centre Pompidou, caters to the gay chic, aspiring-artist, and celebrity crowd. Great people watching at any time of the day, the morning breakfast is where you're most likely to run into locals. Wear something fancy and hip at night, and perhaps some see-through linen at breakfast.
Late Night Meetings
Former fancy and impossible-to-enter nightspot Les Bains Douches (7 Rue du Bourg-l'Abbe, 3e; +33-53-01-40-60; LesBainsDouches.net) has become the biggest gay dance party in Paris. Saturdays explode on two levels at Les Bains, where you can get a back massage while drinking a tasty cocktail as you wait for space to clear on the dance floor. Some of the best house and trance DJs in Paris burn up the dance floor, while the upstairs is a classy and kickin' lounge full of young hotties. Check the website's calendar as every week brings a new night of organized mayhem.
Folies Pigalle (11 Place Pigalle, 9e; +33-1-48-78-55-25; Folies-Pigalle.com) is without a doubt the most eclectic nightclub in Paris. Smaller than it looks on the outside, it is located in the famously seedy neighborhood that inspired its name and the raunchy themes that play out certain nights. It is a famous after-hours venue, but it also hosts a variety of music and theme nights. The crowd is a genial mix of gays, straights, and transsexuals (mostly MTF).
There's somewhere to dance every night of the week in Paris. Check Tetu.com or Paris-Gay.com for the most up-to-date club information.