Harry's Bar

Photography by diffordsguide.com

Words by Simon Difford on 17-Dec-2015

Harry's Bar image 1

Address: 5 Rue Daunou, (btwn Ave de l'Opéra & Rue de la Paix), Paris, 75002, France
Tel: +33 1 4261 7114
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-4am
Door: Open door
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails, Historic interest
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Established: 1911


Harry MacElhone established this bar in 1911, making it Europe's second longest-running cocktail bar (The American Bar at London's Savoy Hotel is the oldest). Passing through the swinging, wooden saloon-style doors is a step back in time.

The small room with its high ceiling is decked out in the style of a Victorian City of London pub. British college coats of arms and U.S. sporting pennants adorn the mahogany-panelled walls. The Cuban mahogany bar, originally imported from Manhattan's Third Avenue, remains, worn down by the thousands of drinks that have passed across it. Downstairs is a tiny piano bar.

This bar's legendary status is partly due to the celebrities who have passed through here: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and George Gershwin have all sat at its simple wooden tables and it continues to attract American visitors in particular in search of a decent Dry Martini. The address is pronounced 'sank roo doe noo', a memorable mnemonic which Harry created to help American servicemen find the bar.

Harry's Bar is also famed as the original birthplace of the Bloody Mary (in 1920). This spicy drink and other classics, particularly the Sidecar, are still briskly turned out by highly experienced bartenders in white jackets, their bartending light on ceremony and all about quick service. Harry's is best summed up as having a British pub-style atmosphere but being a place where people come to drink cocktails rather than beer or wine.

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