The Hotel Lutetia has been one of the emblematic addresses of the Left Bank and its cultural ideology since its beginnings in 1910. Notably, in its early days, it was a galvanizing point for the nascent and radical Parisian jazz scene – and more later it would become a haunt of Peggy Guggenheim and even Pablo Picasso. In the 80s, designer Sonia Rykiel gave it a very fashionable makeover, and in recent years David Lynch has even designed his own suite here. Impressive, to put it mildly.
In 2018, The Set Collection gave it a contemporary update, under the direction of French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, bringing it firmly in line with 21st-century tastes, but without murdering its essential character at all. And now a new bar has just opened at the hotel that ties it back to its original heritage, completing a sort of creative circle of life for one of Paris’ most legendary properties.
Indeed, the brand new Bar Aristide, very stylish, will focus on jazz in its most modern forms, with evenings like TEMPO! (every Thursday evening at 10 p.m., in collaboration with Tsugi Radio) with drum & bass, acid jazz, abstract hip-hop (yes, it exists) plus electro and downtempo. The latter happens to be the most appreciated by the general manager of the Lutetia, Jean-Pierre Trevisan, who has already been a DJ in the underground electronic music scene of the capital.
“Music follows me everywhere, he explains, and has always been essential to me. This passion will find its place perfectly at Bar Aristide, which will soon become a coveted venue for alternative jazz.
But on any given evening, champagne and specialty cocktails will also be flowing, the latter courtesy of head mixologist Nicola Battafarano. Certainly his singular but simple signature sips include the likes of the Cure (Belvedere Vodka, Turmeric, Ginger, Galliano Liquor), Inception (Hennessy Cognac, Calvados Le Blanche, Wasabi) and surely Mr. Gillespie referencing Dizzy ( Rye whiskey Whistlepig, Beetroot, Barolo chinato) – which will go perfectly with Gillardeau n°3 oysters, Oscietre caviar or a white truffle taramasalata.
The Lutetia, of course, is much more than just a hotel, it is an essential part of Parisian history, which lives on as surely as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. And with just 30 seats, elegant wood-panelled walls, classic Chesterfield-style leather sofas and a carefully curated selection of books (as well as music), Aristide is set to become a bar that will resonate perfectly with this history, while looking resolutely towards the future.