Envision a space suitable for the headquarters of a new Bohemia. Such artists and dreamers would appreciate a gallery space, a bar and café, and perhaps a place to read quietly or discuss the most recent gossip in the art world. Le Comptoir Général, located at 80 Quai de Jemmapes in Paris, has all of the above – and more.
The multifunctional venue welcomes visitors with the comfort of grandmother’s attic combined with the whimsicality and novelty of an antique show. Some of the décor, such as colorful fabric hangings and mismatched furniture, is topsy-turvy while old film projectors, yellowing maps and globes, and leather trunks speak of the industrial era. Though the rooms are a time capsule of memories gone by, a hint of modern awareness creeps in by means of the organic Sunday brunch and the rain water system that keeps the place environmentally friendly. Abundant greens and exotic-looking plants make their home in a makeshift greenhouse that boasts moss-covered walls and plants growing on old furnishings. No effort is made to hide the aged walls of the place, and every notch in the wooden frame of the establishment holds a memoir and a story. If ever one needs a break from reality, just enter the dreamscape through the heavy pleated curtains and follow the inspirational air of yesteryear.