©Fok Kan

Everyone knows, at least by name, the Bains-douches, the famous nightclub on rue du Bourg-l'Abbé (between Beaubourg and boulevard Sébastopol). But who knows the history of real shower baths?

It all began in 1885 when the Guerbois family built a beautiful building, at number 7 of the street, with a remarkable porch framed by two torchiere nymphs. The Guerbois are not just anyone. This family actually owns the trendiest café of the time, Café Guerbois, at 9, avenue de Clichy. It is, among others, the headquarters of Zola and his impressionist friends: Manet, Renoir, Monet, Degas, Pissarro, Sisley, Cézanne. Their fortune made, the bistro owners opened the Bains-Guerbois, a real high-end spa, equipped with Japanese (sulphurous water), Turkish (steam) and Russian (kind of sauna) baths, but also a massage parlor, a barber, hair salon and restaurant.

The reputation of Bains Guerbois is immense. Marcel Proust is a regular. The place was popular with the gay community at the time. The “forts des halles”, or handlers, also come to shower here, then drink a calva coffee after their work. The destruction of the Baltard halls and the widespread use of bathrooms in Parisian apartments “killed” the bath-shower business in the early 1970s.

Facade of the Baths – ©Les Bains Paris

In 1978, the first rebirth: the new owner Maurice Marois, a professor of medicine, was convinced to transform the place into a nightclub. Bingo! With the Palace, Les Bains Douches became the most popular nightclub in Paris. It's the French version of Studio 54, the New York club born a few months earlier. Led in turn by the duos Jacques Renault and Fabrice Coat, then Hubert Boukobza and Claude Challe and finally Cathy and David Guetta, we meet Jean-Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Loulou de Falaise, Rita Mitsouko, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones , Robert de Niro, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Kate Moss, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol. The decor is by Philippe Starck.

Boy George and Jean-Paul Gaultier – ©Foc Kan

Karl Lagerfeld at the Bains club – ©Foc Kan

The golden age of the “Bains” ended around the turn of the century but the nightclub did not close definitively until 2010. In 2015, the Bains Douches, completely renovated, were resurrected again, this time under the in the form of a five-star boutique hotel, thanks to Jean-Pierre Marois, the son of the professor of medicine. The restaurant, the club and the bar were also reborn. With 39 rooms or suites, the establishment has an undeniable charm with its Château Marmont-style decor (in Los Angeles) and its restaurant with a red lacquer sky.

The ROXO bar – ©Anaïs Costet

In addition, the Bains now host artist residencies, exhibitions, etc. All in collaboration with prestigious galleries: Gagossian, Templon, Jérôme Pauchant. The next event, “Les Simonnet s’installnt aux Bains” will be dedicated to the very inventive couple Jean-Marie and Marthe Simonnet, specialized in works in reinforced plastic. The curatorship of the exhibition was entrusted to Marshian Gilbert Kann. From April 2, 2019.

Les Bains Paris
7 rue du Bourg l'Abbé, 75003 Paris
Tel: +01 42 77 07 07 XNUMX

Text: Katia Barillot

13.03.19
Update: 25.01.21

FOR PASSIONATES OFUS

The Enfants Rouges market, everyone loves it

The Enfants Rouges market, everyone loves it

Restaurants, merchants, a photo store, a bookstore... This is how the Red Children's Market presents itself, unique in its kind in le Marais and its capital because it is the only one to offer such a varied and qualitative catering offer.

The Marais Jewish quarter in Paris

The Marais Jewish quarter in Paris

From the 13th century, le Marais is home to a Jewish community which remained there until its expulsion in the 14th century. Fleeing poverty and persecution, Jews from Eastern countries and those from Alsace settled there in the 19th century. Around rue des rosiers and Place Saint-Paul renamed Pletz…

Victor Hugo, the writer with a thousand talents

Victor Hugo, the writer with a thousand talents

Born in 1802, Victor Hugo became a social writer, a playwright, a poet, a novelist and a romantic designer. Nicknamed the man-ocean then the man-century, he is a political figure and a committed intellectual. He found success with Notre-Dame-de-Paris in 1831 and with Les Misérables in 1862.

July 14: where to see the Olympic flame in le Marais

July 14: where to see the Olympic flame in le Marais

Twelve days before the opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games, the Olympic flame will cross Paris up and down for two days, not forgetting any district, on July 14 and 15. She will arrive in le Marais on July 14 in the afternoon from around 16 p.m. and until 16:46 p.m. sharp.

Oysters and fish: P'tit Mousse knows his job

Oysters and fish: P'tit Mousse knows his job

Why bother going to Wepler or La Coupole, when there is P'tit Mousse? Both an oyster bar and a fish restaurant, this address on Rue Rambuteau advantageously replaces the Parisian brasseries on Place Clichy and Boulevard Montparnasse.

Breton house, Brittany rue de Rivoli

Breton house, Brittany rue de Rivoli

A stone's throw from the Saint-Paul metro station and a stone's throw from the BHV, a little piece of Brittany has just been established. At the helm of this new ship, chef France. Originally from Finistère, she has been making crepes for over 20 years, so after experiencing the takeaway kiosk – Food Breizh on the banks of the Seine…

WHAAAAAAAT?!

 

All your friends tell you about the Marais Mood newsletter but you haven't received it?

Sign up here to receive weekly news from your favorite neighborhood. ☆

Welcome ! You are subscribed to the Marais Mood newsletter!