So-Pi (South Pigalle) welcomes another hip new venue (after Glass) that’s injecting a more hipster vibe into the once totally down-at-heel area. Once a hostess bar (they’ve kept the name, evidently), the only phallic elements these days are the Polynesian totems scattered throughout the bar, which has a kitsch, exotic ‘tiki’ vibe (luxuriant plants, bamboo furniture and coloured lights, a fumoir full of stuffed animal heads) and lots of free-flowing rum – the sort of bar that flourished in the US after the end of Prohibition, but which has only now made it to Paris.
Practically crying ‘Aloha!’ as they go, the flowered-shirt-sporting barmen cater to the crowds with a list of twenty or so fruity cocktails served in giant shells or miniature volcanoes (€7 to €14). The flavours echo Polynesia, Mexico, Brazil and Florida – enjoy a Cannibal’s Dilemma, or the famous Zombie dreamed up by tiki aficionado Don the Beachcomber in the US – a mix of several rums with citrus, herbs and tropical fruits. For simpler tastes there’s 55 different rums, a handful of imported bottled beers and a few on tap. Dirty Dick is slightly bonkers and super fun – So-Pi can celebrate.