7 rue de la Verrerie
I love Summer- time. And, I don’t mean the season (which is nice as well). I’m talking about Gershwin’s soulful number from Porgy and Bess which was playing in this dingy little joint when I entered. Even if I don’t always love the cocktails in my Wednesday Adventures, I usually find some redeeming quality to the bars. And, at Les Souffleurs’ one of these qualities was the fun, old-school music.
Les Souffleurs is a long narrow bar with a pleasantly seedy feel that claims to specialize in beers, rums and martinis. When I arrived, there was a small but varied smattering of patrons: a boho-looking young couple, some middle-aged regulars sidled up to the bar and a few campy boys (it’s in the gay-friendly Marais area). The place is presided over by a mother-henish bartendrice who, as the place grew busier, shuffled customers here and there amongst the various bar stools and tables and couches to ensure everyone had a place.
And it did get busier. We had a nice group for this week’s outing, with Matt, Nicky, her guy Luke and a few of his friends. By the time everyone arrived, there’s wasn’t an empty spot in the bar and customers were squishing in and climbing over chairs, coats and people to get from one spot to another. The reason for this relatively early evening crowding: the happy hour. From 5pm to 9pm, LesSouffleurs offers up demis, rhum agricole & planters punch for 2.50 Euros, and martinis, caipirinhas & mojitos at 5 Euros.
I started with the usual and got a 1 part Dry Martini to 3 parts Gordons, stirred, and topped off with a lime zest. The glass wasn’t chilled and overall, the drink was a bit too warm for my taste. Pretty middle of the road, overall. After my martini trial, the entire group moved onto caipirinhas and mojitos. Where they the best I’ve had? No. Where they the best I’ve had at 5 bucks? Most likely.
The bar stock is limited – being heaviest in various rhum agricoles. I wouldn’t send anyone here in hopes of the city’s best cocktails. However, our group had a great night. Also, of note, is that they have a downstairs available for renting for groups and parties, which could be interesting. If you’re okay with letting go of high cocktail expectations and stick with the drinkable mojitos and caipirinhas, you’ll enjoy a busy little happy hour with good friends at les Souffleurs.