Times are tough in Paris like everywhere else, but now we’ve heard that not just one but two of our favourite bars are currently threatened with closure. The Troisième Lieu (the ‘third space’) and its neighbour Les Filles de Paris (Paris girls), both under the same management, are in trouble with the French tax authorities who are demanding the payment of back taxes after problems with their financial affairs in two of the past four years.
The matter will ultimately be decided by a specialist tribunal, but the owner admits that the two businesses are already feeling the strain given the current financial climate, with prices up and fewer customers keen to come out and party.
If the Troisième Lieu does go, it will be sorely missed not just by lesbians, its core customer base, but also by the huge number of fans, gay and straight alike, that enjoy the laid-back, welcoming atmosphere where everybody is welcome.
Popular during the day as a place to chill out, meet friends and enjoy affordable food in the centre of the Marais, both bars get more rowdy later on. In rue Quincampoix, a quiet side street a couple of minutes’ walk from the rest of the Marais, some of the neighbours might not be sad to see it go.
The same isn’t true of the local community, though, which is rallying round to support the bars, a valuable resource for local lesbians, but also the Paris gay community more generally. In the words of one regular interviewed by a French newspaper, an Internet petition has been started in the hope of convincing the authorities that the Troisième lieu is not just ‘an ordinary pub’, but a meeting place that isn’t replicated anywhere else. The much less lively scene to be found in neighbouring lesbian bars seems to prove her point …
If you’re in Paris soon, then call into the Troisième Lieu and give it your support while you still can!