From the outside, The Hood still echoes the junk shop it used to be. A bit of rusty metal and then the sign ‘Parfumerie – cadeaux – bazar – ménage,’ remins us that rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud was a bustling street in the former working class area. In no time at all, bars, trendy épiceries, wine cellars and coffee shops have replaced kebab shops and modest stalls. Gentrification grumbles aside, at least now we know it’s not hard to find good coffee in the 11th arrondissement.
The Hood's offering is pretty much Brooklyn to the bone. From speciality coffee to their co-working space, right through to the folk music – sometimes they even host concerts. Dotted about the café are guitars and a piano to entice strangers to jam together. The coffee comes from the Brûlerie de Belleville – the hot ticket – and the poached egg and pesto open sandwich is prepared with love by the French-Vietnamese chef Khânh-Ly.
While we sipped on an Americano and an iced latte, the speakers above the counter play The Strokes and long-forgotten New York bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Not forgetting the banana bread that was the true icing on the cake of our visit to The Hood. Look out for upcoming workshops, including coffee roasting.
TRANSLATION: MEGAN CARNEGIE