In Review: Le Petit Garage Bar

This Gritty Old-School Rock Bar Still Has It

Le Petit Garage is an old-school rock bar in Paris' always-crowded Oberkampf nightlife district.
Le Petit Garage is an old-school rock bar in Paris' always-crowded Oberkampf nightlife district. Les Amis de l'Apero

This quaint, old-school rock bar on Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud in the northeastern Oberkampf district provides a refreshing alternative on a street saturated with ever-emerging chic bars. The reasonable prices, local clientele, nonchalant-but-likeable bar staff, and rough-and-ready decor all give Le Petit Garage-- which means, you guessed it, "The Little Garage"-- an appealing edge. Having a drink or two here will probably remind you (assuming you're old enough) of 1990s movies like "Singles" or "Reality Bites", or of MTV's "Daria"-- and that's part of the gritty charm.

Cool but not hipsterish, it's an endearing relic of a different, grungier, time. And that's precisely why we love it.

Pros:

  • intimate atmosphere
  • cheap drinks
  • friendly clientele

Cons:

Address and Contact Information

  • Address: 63 rue Jean Pierre Timbaud
  • Tel.: +33 (0)148 070 812
  • Metro: Parmentier (line 3)
  • Hours: 6 p.m.-2 a.m.
  • Drinks: Full bar; drink prices generally range from 2.50 Euros to 8 Euros (approx. $3-$10)
  • Average age group: 25-45
  • Payment: All major credit cards accepted

My Full Review

Ambiance
The ambiance at Le Petit Garage is laid-back and gritty. Worn vintage furniture helps create a unique, intimate experience, and if you're lucky enough to occupy the bar's few threadbare couches, you will happily settle here for the night.

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Drinks and Service

  • Beer and wine by the glass will set you back a mere 2.50 euros (approx. $3)-- but don't expect the best reserve, or even a proper wine glass!
  • Table service is also a rarity here, and if you remember to take your empty glasses with you on each trip to the bar, you'll endear yourself to the bar staff.

    Music and Banter

    • The music is generally rock of the heavy variety, and you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled on an impromptu biker's convention, or an old-school hard rock bar in Seattle circa 1999. 
    • This is particularly true of the bar area, where the long-standing regulars gather and banter. They're a friendly bunch, so if you're up for putting your conversational French to the test, this is your chance.

    Read related: French travel words and expressions you'll need for your trip to Paris

    The Verdict?

    Despite this Paris bar's prime location in one of the city's most bustling nightlife districts, Le Petit Garage still feels like a well-kept secret, full of character and never overcrowded or even remotely pretentious. That's saying something in a city that's a bit image-obsessed. 

    You might want to think about coming here to follow up a visit to one of the area's nearby restaurants, or making a night of it with a bunch of friends. Either way, you'll be guaranteed a relaxed, atmospheric evening.