However, financial problems through the overspending of Ted Sloan
on his lavish lifestyle forced him to sell the bar and this is where Harry's as a
tradition starts. A Scottish expatriate named Harry MacElhone, that had worked at a
club in London became the bar tender here and then took over the New York Bar in 1923 and
added his name to the front, which is when it became a Paris
landmark and has since become one of the most famous bars in the world.
And although it may not be nostalgia to you, this is the place that served the very first
hot dog in Paris and in fact the first served in
France, which was way back in 1925. And a few years later (in 1933), the place was
called the 'Front Page Cabaret', so Harry himself thought he would use the front pages of
the papers to cover the walls and the decoration has changed around every ten to fifteen
Harry's New York Bar is where the famous cocktails White Lady and the Sidecar were
invented but there appears to be some controversy over the reputed birthplace of the
Bloody Mary cocktail. You see, Ernest Hemingway used to frequent this bar, but also Bar Hemingway at the Ritz, which was named after
him and according to the Hemingway Bar, this is where the Bloody Mary cocktail was
invented. Who really knows? But what we do know is that both places do make a
fantastic Bloody Mary even today.
Even though Harry himself passed away in 1958, this bar in Paris has still retained its
originality from the dark mahogany tables to the dark wood panelled walls, red leather
seating, the stained glass door and the framed pennants of American colleges and crests of
English universities. In fact on one wall is the American standard of signage that
will let you know that Harry's is exactly 4,278 miles away from Wall Drug, which is a
place of 1950s Americana located in the middle of South Dakota.
Although the main bar is on the ground floor you will need to go downstairs to the piano
bar where even today they have great jazz pianists and music every week from a Tuesday
through to a Saturday, but did you realise that George Gershwin composed the
"American in Paris" on the very same piano that is still there?
You will find Harry's New York Bar in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris between the Avenue
de l'Opera and the Rue de la Paix, only a little walk from The Louvre, which is one of the most famous museums in Paris, it is also in the opera district close to
the grand Palais Garnier and sees a lot of theatre goers of an evening, but of a day time
is frequented by lots of business people from the financial industries.
There have been around forty different cocktails invented at this famous Paris Bar and
some named after well known people such as The Boris Becker or The James Bond Cocktail and
even though places like the Harry's New York Bar can always rely on its history for
continuing trade, the bar still produces well made drinks.
So fashions may change and many places will come and go, yet Harry's still lives on in
Paris with over ninety years of cheers, and it is still a place to go that can remind you
more of home than being on holiday in France.
Bar & Restaurant Guide Key Points
The traditional Cocktail Bar is open from 10am through to 4pm.
Harry's New York Bar is open for lunch from noon until 3pm.
The Piano Bar is in the downstairs room and is open from 10pm through to 2am on a Tuesday
to Friday but on a Saturday it is open from 10pm through to 3am, yet is closed on Sundays
and on a Monday evening.
As well as the famous cocktails on offer, you can also purchase snacks such as hotdogs or
a club sandwich that consists of toast, ham, chicken, egg, cheese, tomato & green
salad or the chief salad that contains ham, chicken, bacon, egg, cheese, tomato &
green salad plus delights such as cake with drambouie.
Although the drinks and snacks are more expensive than in some other establishments (for
instance the club sandwich is approximately 19), it is well worth a visit to be
served an exquisite drink by one of the bartenders who are dressed in pristine white coats
It is regarded as for the over eighteen's and is casual dress, yet the place livens up
immensely very late into the evening and then carries on through to the early hours.
The nearest Metro station is the Opera.
Address & Contact Details:
Harry's New York Bar
5 Rue Daunou
Telephone: 1 42 61 71 14