A French take on an English classic, the Sir Winston Churchill, just off the Etoile is described by right bank Parisians as either pas mal or pas terrible. One means good, the other means bad.
Despite the conflicting opinions, it’s always bustling with youngish French kids and smatterings of smartly dressed tourists. A wood-paneled interior, once perilously filled with smoke, now makes for a cozy night cap after 16th Arrondisement activities, and a downstairs dance area caters to impromptu hip shaking. The French doors swing open come summer, allowing a healthy dose of twilight into the dark interior.
The Churchill once had rather high pretensions; these days it seems content to play second fiddle to swankier bars farther south, towards La Concorde.