PARIS RE-TALE: The city’s spirit through its shop signs
La Cave de La Bonne Franquette
Immortalised by Van Gogh in La Guinguette (1886) and a favourite haunt of Degas, Renoir and Monet, this historic Montmartre restaurant has been run since 1971 by Patrick Fracheboud and son Luc. Here you can enjoy cabaret montmartrois, cancan included.
In 1905, this fish and wine restaurant was a fishmonger (poissonnerie). When Drew Harré (pictured) and business partner Juan Sánchez bought it they changed the “p” to a “b”.
Paris Jazz Corner
Located on the city’s Left Bank, the jazz music shop co-founded by Maxime Hubert sells a wide selection of LPs, CDs, books and flyers, making it a favourite with the city’s jazz community.
Dating back to the 19th century, the gallery turned its focus to cinema in 1976. Run by Alexandre Boyer, it is the oldest gallery in Europe dedicated to film; Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee are fans.
Debauve et Gallais
Opened in Saint Germain in May 1800 and designed by Napoleon’s architects, this is the only chocolaterie among France’s historical monuments and is today run by Bernard Poussin and Diane Junique.
Though styled like a turn-of-the-century apothecary, La Pharmacie is a restaurant run by chef Christophe Duparay and serves traditional French cuisine. The shelves display old ceramic medicine pots alongside bottles of wine and teapots.
Clair de Rêve
Gilles Berthommier has been making his puppets, mechanical toys and music boxes in this workshop since 1991. The workshop, housed in a 17th-century building, is the last of its kind in Paris.
Les Degrés de Notre Dame
Between 1800 and 1900 this hotel was a maison de plaisirs (brothel) and clients would tie their horses up in reception. The lobby is now used as an exhibition space by art-loving manager Avijid Gosh.
Les Céramiques du Marais
Dorothée Hoffmann opened her ceramics workshop in 2011. Working in ceramics, terracotta, enamels and glass, she specialises in ceramic animals and works all day in the company of her dog, Dharma.
Alain Maître Barbier
Listed as an Unusual Museum of Paris, Alain’s barber shop is filled with shaving-related objects from around the world. Alain has worked here for 20 years and gives each person who buys a razor a ‘shaving lesson’.
Patisserie Boulangerie Boris
This century-old patisserie decorated with a drawing of the Moulin de la Galette, symbol of Montmartre, is on the list of French historical monuments. Owner Boris Lumé, known for his petits choux, took over in 2013.
ulien Aurouze and Co
The window of this pesticide and rodent trap store has displayed a macabre line-up of rats hanging from mousetraps since 1872. Siblings Julien and Cécile Aurouze are the fourth generation of their family to own the shop.
Librairie des archives
When bookseller Stefan Perrier was renovating the space to open a bookshop in 2002, he uncovered the hat factory sign from the 1920s and decided to keep it. Perrier sells books on art, design, fashion and jewellery.
Snapshots: the shopfronts of independent Paris