When you think of “Paris,” what comes to mind? The Eiffel Tower? The Louvre? The Catacombs? How about the Player One geek bar? Yeah, I’d never heard of it, either, but now that I’ve been there, it blows all the famous Parisian monuments and museums out of the water!
Earlier this week, three friends and I planned to spend the eve of Halloween at Parc Astérix in Plailly, France, for their Peur sur le Parc (Fear on the Parc) event. Unfortunately, the park was overbooked, and even those of us who had purchased tickets in advance were turned away. Devastated, we retreated to the dark yet lively streets of Paris. In our dejected wanderings, we stumbled upon a bar called Player One, located at 224 Rue Saint-Denis. This place ended up saving our night!
As soon as you step through the doors, you are engulfed in a chaotic, animated world of bright colors, video game sound effects, and a soundtrack I can best describe as a combination of songs from Tik Tok and songs I had on my iPod Touch in 2013. The bar was fully decked out in Halloween decorations when we went, but Player One is bursting with nerdy decor all year round. From a Harry Potter-themed section of the basement to a floor-to-ceiling case of Lego men in the bathroom, every single corner of the bar is guaranteed to delight any geek. The menu itself is equally as quirky, with fandom-inspired cocktails including the “Pika Colada,” “Tardis,” “Hulk,” and “Cucumberbatch.” I ordered a “Castlevania” and my friends ordered a “Demogorgon” and a “Licorne” (the French word for “unicorn”). Alcohol-free cocktails are also available. All beverages are served in fandom mugs such as a PokéBall, a Stormtrooper, and Simba from The Lion King. I was given a Stormtrooper mug, which I was a little bummed about because I’ve never actually seen an entire Star Wars movie in my life, but the novelty still wasn’t lost on me.
Despite the vast array of adult beverages, Player One is also kid-friendly, namely because of all the games. The left wall is lined with consoles booted up with 90s and early-2000s games such as Pokémon Stadium (which is where I parked myself for most of the night) and Crash Bandicoot. Further inside, to the right of the bar are bookshelves filled to the brim with card games, board games, and manga. There are even games like Pac-Man built directly into some of the tables!
No matter which fandoms you belong to, Player One has something for you. If you ever plan a trip to the City of Light, make sure to add this nerd paradise to your itinerary!