A Secret Café in La Marais


Fragments of My Imagination


Last Saturday morning while strolling through the backstreets of La Marais searching for a gallery, I stumbled upon this authentic little café hidden away on Rue Tournelles. I could have easily walked by but the smell of coffee, the sound of jazz music and the golden ambience was too inviting to ignore.

Inside, Youssef the charming young Frenchmen and owner tells me the café just opened a week ago and it’s still undergoing development. ‘It’s like when you move apartment and you slowly build up over time’ he tells me, almost apologetically.


Ironically, and strange as it may seem, it’s the unfinished look that I love and what sparked my imagination in the first place. The dark wooden chairs and tables, the lighting, the turntable playing old jazz records, it’s elegant in its simplicity. There was something intriguing about this place…


Warming up with a light aromatic filter coffee (a south american blend) my curiosity digs deeper into the details. A couple of questions later, Youssef describes how the building is over 200 years old and how it was originally stables for horses.


Out the back window you can see the original stables and water feeder. Inside, the brick walls, the wooden floors, and the high wooden beam ceilings are like fragments of an old manuscript: the original elements that give this café a really great authentic feel.


The attention to small details is immaculate; the coffee sourcing, the water used the passion in the coffee preparation (using a pepper mill grinder) and the chic glass coffee jugs and tumblers. Not simply baristas or coffee sellers, artisans dedicated to the art of coffee making, something that truly lends itself to the spirit of Paris. See and taste for yourself.

Fragments, 76 rue des Tournelles, Paris.


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