The changing face of Pigalle in Paris

The neighbourhood of Pigalle has an intriguing reputation.

Many people probably associate it with the red light district, seedy bars, and occasional danger… but that’s not really the case anymore.

This week’s podcast guest is Nico Piégay, the owner of the hit coffeeshop KB, which has been perched in the heart of Pigalle for almost ten years.

Nico has watched how the neighbourhood has changed, how tourists and foreigners and injected some new life into the area, and how the “hostess bars” have all but disappeared.

Listen to the episode by hitting play below, or subscribe and listen on your phone.

Find KB coffeeshop at 53 Avenue Trudaine, and Nico’s new spot, Back in Black, at 25 Rue Amelot, 75011.

As for me, I am very proud to say that this episode was brought to you by The Earful Tower’s Patreon supporters. Join them here for a good time.

Oh yes, and there’s Nico and I below, in Place des Vosges, where we recorded the episode. You can see the scooter on top of the fountain, but surely you already saw that on my Instagram stories by now 🙂

PS: If your imagination can’t tackle the idea of beautiful Avenue Trudaine that we discussed in the show, never fear: I went and photographed every single doorway. New picture post coming soon!

4 thoughts on “The changing face of Pigalle in Paris

  1. In the late 1990s, I often stayed on the sofa of a friend near Place de Clichy on my weekend visits to Paris. It’s next to Pigalle, and, depending on the métro and my route, I sometimes would find myself in Pigalle quite a bit later than was wise for a woman on her own. (Often it would be on my return from the open-air tango dances by the Seine, which didn’t even get going until 11 p.m. In those pre-Uber days, it was impossible to get a cab at 4 a.m. and of course the métro was closed, so I would walk, alone, across Paris. No problem.) I don’t mourn the loss of grittiness in neighborhoods like Pigalle.

  2. I continue to love your podcasts, instagram posts and newsletters. You really bring the hidden Paris to life and indulge my love of Paris and France. We visited Paris then explored further south in April/May and your podcasts and insights played a huge part in my planning. So thank you Oliver…Angela

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