Paris Expats Take Note: Shakespeare and Company Café is Finally Open

According to legend, George Whitman always intended for his fabled Left Bank bookshop Shakespeare and Company (its first incarnation was the brainchild of Sylvia Beach, who famously published James Joyce’s Ulysses and had to shutter the shop during the Nazi occupation of Paris) to set up a sister café in the space next door. Sadly, due to financial setbacks and an ongoing battle with the landlord, he couldn’t make it happen. So it was a big deal when Whitman’s daughter, Sylvia, who took over the Parisian shop in 2011 after her father’s death, finally acquired the space, partnered up with Bob’s Bake Shop, and in October, opened her dad’s dream café. In true Parisian fashion, there’s ample sidewalk seating (the views of Notre Dame cathedral are spectacular) and an artfully mismatched interior that still has its original tiles alongside decidedly modern countertops. To go with the excellent coffee, there’s a menu of vegetarian sandwiches, salads, and a sweet dish called the Flapjack Kerouac—an homage to one of the bookshop’s famous patrons.