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AU LIMONAIRE: PARIS WINE BISTRO AND CABARET

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Au Limonaire: Bistro a Vins et a Chansons, is a wine bistro passionate about traditional French music.

At ten pm the dinner service ends and the singing begins. There is entertainment every night but Monday, and silent film screenings are also scheduled.

Au Limonaire
18 cite Bergere
9th Arrondisement
Metro: Grands Boulevards
limonaire.free.fr

What exactly is a cabaret? The French word, in the second half of the 19th century, came to mean an establishment which served liquor and was a convivial meeting place for artists, writers, poets, singers, philosophers and the public at large. Folk songs were sung with patron participation and performers of all sorts were encouraged to entertain in an intimate environment of camaraderie.

Monmartre was the site of the first Parisian cabarets. In the 1900’s it was a hilly outpost, with dirt roads, windmills and its share of seedy characters. But as rents began to soar in the French capital, artistic souls found their way to the suburb, which was reputed to be affordable and supportive of creative and bohemian types.

Even if you’ve never heard of Le Chat Noir, you have probably seen the famous poster entitled, “Tournee du Chat Noir” by the artist, Theophile Steinlen. On November 18, 1881 at 84 Boulevard Rouchechouart, artist and poet Rodolphe Salis officially opened his cabaret/artist salon. He had already been welcoming diverse artists weekly, to his apartment, for drinks and readings, songs and intellectual debates, but moved into the building next door to enjoy tremendous success as the cabaret, Le Chat Noir.
Shortly thereafter, Salis was publishing his own magazine and boasted such famous patrons as Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Paul Signac and Guy de Maupassant.

Le Chat Noir closed in 1897, the year of Salis’s death, and it is said that when Pablo Picasso returned to Paris for the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) in 1900, he was saddened to find it gone.



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