Our hearts had already raced for the 16th arrondissement's Cravan, an impeccably dressed intimate bar. It's now beating even faster for version 2, which expands its horizons, occupying all four floors of one of the oldest buildings in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In partnership with Moët Hennessy (LVMH), the prince of the place, Franck Audoux, solidifies his status as a reference in the cocktail world with this incredibly stylish and thrilling new venue. By Sandra Serpero.
A Building, 4 Floors, 200 m2, and a Terrace
You can't miss it! Nestled on Boulevard Saint-Germain, at the corner of Rue du Dragon and a stone's throw from Le Flore, the new Cravan occupies an elegant 17th-century stone building that turns heads. And it had to be beautifully done to handle the design of the place! The reins of this ambitious project were handed to the talent of Belgian designer Ramy Fischler (RF Studio). The goal: to imprint the Cravan lifestyle and its guiding principles—heritage and modernity—on each level.
A Place of Experiences
It all begins with a nod and a familiar scene at the ground floor, a replica of the original Cravan on the right bank. Further up, accessible either by the original wooden staircase or a red metal one, the decors unfold, each creating a unique atmosphere. On the first floor, an ultra-sophisticated bar showcases an expansive green marble countertop. What's special about this space? The opportunity to sit behind the bar on banquettes and enjoy the show put on by the bartenders in white jackets. On the second floor, there's a library co-signed by Rizzoli NY with a reading sofa and a trove of beautiful books. The third floor, our favorite, could transport you to London or New York. The lighting is soft, the room is cozy with exposed beams, carpets on the floor, and period fireplaces. The space is punctuated by intimate alcoves arranged around elegant round coffee tables surrounded by armchairs. The best seat: by the windows on the right side of the room for a unique view at this height. The fourth floor, ultra-private and accessible only by invitation, takes the form of a small private workshop and leads to a mini-kiosk perched on the rooftops: one can already imagine Pharrell Williams at ease there!
Cocktails are the heart of the matter, the raison d'être of Cravan and its creator, Franck Audoux, an expert and enthusiast who elevates excellence by partnering with Moët Hennessy in this version 2 of Cravan. The menu opens with four champagne-based cocktails that will delight bubble aficionados. Among them, the ultra-fresh Royal Basilic (Ruinart brut and basil flowers, €22). Something to celebrate? Go for the Royal Royal (Dom Pérignon 2013, €45). The rest? 20 cocktails ranging from €12 to €18, divided into four categories: long drink, soft drink, short drink, and classic drink. Our favorites? The lively Tunnel (gin, dry & sweet vermouth, bitter) and the sunny Yellow (gin, gentian, yellow chartreuse, and lemon). We love: the house glasses, which should soon be available for purchase...
Delicate Small Plates
Here, we recognize the touch of gourmet Franck Audoux, former partner of Chateaubriand and Dauphin restaurants, who takes food seriously! It was a feast that evening with creamy crab tarama and oregano crackers (€12), divine mushroom tempura and salicornia with black garlic toum sauce (€17), focaccia generously topped with poutargue (€14), and beautiful zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and enhanced with marjoram and lemon balm (€15). On the sweet side, we had our eye on the lemongrass flan and the lemon meringue tart (€9), but the cocktail encore won over our indulgence!
Good to Know
Do you know Arthur Cravan? Oscar Wilde's nephew, this multifaceted man, a poet and a boxer, was a precursor to the Dada and Surrealist movements and the editor of the magazine Maintenant. He disappeared prematurely in 1918 at the age of 31 in the Gulf of Mexico. An eccentric and whimsical character who gave impetus to the initial project conceived by Franck Audoux, now fully embodied in this new address in Paris' literary quarter.
Open Tuesday to Thursday from 5 pm to 1 am, Friday and Saturday from 5 pm to 2 am. Closed Sunday and Monday.