Friday, August 6, 2010

Café Le Zimmer

The history of this brasserie is closely tied to the Théâtre du Châtelet, since there was a door leading directly from the theatre’s lobby into the restaurant. The name comes from the surname of an Alsatian family, the Zimmers, who left Alsace and moved to Paris in order to remain French (France had lost Alsace to arch-rival Germany in 1871). Their brasserie, when it opened, occupied four floors of the building and was elaborately decorated, in keeping with the lavishness of the Théâtre du Châtelet.

The establishment was immediately popular and trendy. Its clientele was directly linked to the two theatres that flank the Place du Châtelet: Sarah Bernhardt, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Arturo Toscanini, Claude Debussy, Edmond Rostand, Igor Stravinsky, Émile Zola, Marcel Proust, Serge de Diaghilev, Vaslav Nijinski, Apollinaire, Pablo Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Verne. During WWII, French resistance fighters held meetings in the basement.

In the year 2000 Paris-based world renowned decorator Jacques Garcia was hired to restore the Beaux-Arts spirit of the interiors, returning Café Le Zimmer to its former glory as a place to see and be seen.

Café Le Zimmer
1, place du Châtelet
Open 7 days, 8:00a-1:30a; terrace seats 30, capacity 150 inside
tel.: 01 42 36 74 03

Métro: Châtelet

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