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La Halle Pajol

Shopping hub, nightlife hotspot, hostel, solar power station – Marx Dormoy's latest commercial venture is somewhere worth exploring

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La Halle Pajol / Les Petites Gouttes / © EChirache

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Halle Pajol / Vue avant réhabilitation / DR

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La Halle Pajol / Ateliers Draft / © EChirache

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La Halle Pajol / Ateliers Draft / © EChirache

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Halle Pajol / Jardin couvert / Jourda Architectes Paris

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La Halle Pajol / Les Petites Gouttes / © EChirache

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La Halle Pajol / Les Petites Gouttes / © EChirache

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La Halle Pajol / Les Petites Gouttes / © EChirache

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Halle Pajol / Bibliothèque Vaclav Havel / DR

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Halle Pajol / Bibliothèque Vaclav Havel / DR

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La Halle Pajol / Bob's Bake Shop / © AW

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La Halle Pajol / Bob's Bake Shop / © AW

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La Halle Pajol / Bob's Bake Shop / © AW

Marx Dormoy, the web of streets that fan out from the west end of the Pont Riquet, is one of those north-eastern neighbourhoods currently making the transition from grimy to shiny. An area that most Parisians used to give a wide berth is now reeling them in, thanks to the new shops, bars and cafés that are sprouting faster than a hipster's facial hair. The process began with the Centquatre's opening in 2008, and continued with the renovation of the Marché de l'Olive. Now, with the arrival of La Halle Pajol, the hood's gentrification is practically complete.

With its jagged roof, wood façade and bold iron frame, the one-time SNCF freight warehouse is an imposing presence. It's just that, for some time now, it hasn't been a particularly practical one. That's all changed, thanks to a canny renovation project that's turned the building into a greenery-strewn retail and culinary hub, with room to spare for a 330-bed youth hostel – the city's largest. Thanks to the panels decorating its exoskeleton, it's also the first solar power station in Paris. Chapeau.

At the time of writing, La Halle Pajol is home to a variety of bars, restaurants, bakeries, bookshops, artists' workshops and public terraces. We've listed our pick of the crop below.

Restaurant/bar • Les Petites Gouttes

Since setting up shop along the Nathalie Sarraute esplanade (just opposite the Halle Pajol), Les Petites Gouttes has made quite a stir in its corner of the 18th. An area that has long suffered a somewhat dodgy rep is now drawing in the punters with its range of snazzy nightlife options, of which this bar-cum-restaurant is the latest arrival. It offers a sophisticated take on culinary favourites, a smattering of outdoor seats and even a year-wide programme of musical events. The restaurant's menu is decidedly eclectic, with a street food feel…

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La Chapelle

Bakery • Bob's Bake Shop

In Anglophone countries, patisseries mean France. Here, for once, the reverse is true. Following on from the wildly popular Bob's Kitchen and Bob's Cold Press, Bob's Bake Shop extends the winning formula to baked goods, and bagels in particular. The (excellent) coffee may be locally produced, but the shop channels the same yuppified American vibe as its sister venues. Everything, from the the scrumptious pies to the bagels themselves, is baked onsite, and served with the freshest veggie ingredients. As always, quality comes with a price, and with bagels clocking in at €8 and fruit juices at €5 your wallet will take a harder hit…

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Shopping • Pantheone

Pantheone is one of the brands that plays with masculine codes of streetwear to create a graphic, colourful, sexy feminine brand. Nili, the singer from band Nilly Wood and the Prick, French rapper BAMS and Olivia from The Dø are all fans of Pantheone’s clothing – women at ease in their trainers who give masculine clothing a new femininity. The haute couture collection goes even further in this funky, sexy fashion: all the dresses come with matching deconstructed baseball caps, the bases provided by MC’s cap brand New Era, and re-imagined according to the avant-garde visions of designers Aurélie Leyre and Déborah Amaral to produce 12 beautiful outfits, each more impressive than the last.

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