Party Earth Review Nestled among little shops and cafés on the narrow Rue des Lombards, Le Baiser Salé (The Salty Kiss) – a Paris jazz institution since 1983 – is a particular favorite of older American tourists, though its roster of world... ... read full review
58 Rue des Lombards
Lines 1, 4, 7, 11, 14: Châtelet
01 42 33 37 71
Les Halles / Rivoli - 1er / 2eme, Paris –
Nestled among little shops and cafés on the narrow Rue des Lombards, Le Baiser Salé (The Salty Kiss) – a Paris jazz institution since 1983 – is a particular favorite of older American tourists, though its roster of world-class musicians and jam sessions brings in a steady flow of younger local jazz aficionados as well.
Open seven days a week with two live shows a night, the club has a no-frills look that proves patrons don’t show up for the flash of its façade, but rather for the substance of the music, which can run the gamut from the cool jazz stylings of Dave Brubeck and the modal improvisations of John Coltrane and Miles Davis, to the traditional fundamentals of Louis Armstrong.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a small patio where patrons chat around café tables, enjoying a cigarette and coffee before heading into the dark, crowded club with its dingy décor of neon lights and old concert posters.
The diverse crowd changes by the hour, with early evenings given over to older couples ordering cocktails at the horseshoe bar before heading up the narrow stairs to the sparse performance area to watch the first show.
Around midnight, larger groups of gritty regulars in natty threads flock in for stiff drinks and the second show, which usually features edgier jazz tending toward fusion with a potpourri of world sounds – a diversity reflected in the eclectic audience, whose makeup often varies according to the performers’ ethnicities and musical styles.
The funky sounds and clientele combine into a scene that hits its stride about the same time other bars have poured their last drink, making Le Baiser Salé a dark beacon for jazz fans prowling the 1st arrondissement in the hours before dawn.
Jazz-loving tourists from America and elsewhere and hip local sophisticates, 20s to 40s.
Nightly live jazz 8–9:15pm and live world jazz 10pm–2am.
No food. Happy Hour daily 5–8:30pm.
Beer €3.70–€8.70, cocktails €7.70–€11, wine €5+/glass or €30+/bottle. Prices rise €1.30 after 10pm.
Casual-hip: dark jeans, button-downs, boots, leather jackets, sweaters, scarves, and vests.
Weekends for the late show, when the biggest names usually play.
Guinness Tavern (31 Rue des Lombards) has all the ingredients to convince jazz fans who also happen to love live rock, draft stout, and staying up really late that buying a flat on the Rue des Lombards might just be the wisest life choice ever.