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Ground Control calling: the brand new Paris arts and meals hub | Travel

A tiny signal above an anonymous-looking doorway marks the doorway to Ground Control. So it comes as one thing of shock after climbing a steep flight of steps to emerge onto an unlimited terrace, crammed with vegetation and herbs, outdated buses and practice carriages transformed into street-food stalls, pals enjoyable in deckchairs over a bottle of wine, Brittany oysters, chargrilled Argentine beef and pizzas.

Our long-term success has to be based on the area people, attracting guests of all ages

Denis Legat, La Lune Rousse

This is Paris’s Ground Control, which opened in a former rail depot for a couple of months final summer time as an under-the-radar pop-up, disappearing as quickly as colder climate ended the open-air leisure. Over the winter, on one aspect of the courtyard, the Halle Charolais (a former items warehouse) was renovated, with heating and sound-proofing put in to accommodate a number of indoor venues, making certain that Ground Control turns into a year-round attraction, and an enormous one. The venue, all 560 sq. metres of it, encompasses meals vehicles, biodynamic wine, craft beer and cocktail bars, galleries, boutiques, an natural meals market (Sundays) and its personal radio station. It additionally places on e book festivals, dwell music and DJ units plus.

It is a part of French rail company SNCF’s ongoing cultural programme, Sites Artisque Temporaires, to remodel deserted industrial websites into inventive, vibrant community-minded venues for theatre, music, cinema and dance tasks. This newest, between Gare de Lyon and the favored elevated Promenade Plantee, is its largest but.

Art house at Ground Control

Behind Ground Control is La Lune Rousse, an experimental occasions organisation that launched the challenge in 2014, with short-term pop-ups within the Cité de la Mode and one other SNCF house, an outdated locomotive depot in Montmartre. It hopes to have now found a everlasting home and though the brand new Ground Control is sure initially to draw a trendy following of French hipsters, Denis Legat of La Lune Rousse insists that “Our long-term success has to be founded on the local community, attracting visitors of all ages, from kids to grandparents, living in the surrounding neighbourhoods.”

While Ground Control reopened (with out fanfare) in mid-February, the arrival of summer time means it’s buzzing. Inside the lined hangar, folks eat at lengthy picket tables, selecting between conventional African delicacies, Mexican home cooking, modern Chinese and the ever-changing dishes of La Résidence, a kitchen that goals to present refugees in Paris the possibility to current their ethnic delicacies.

Exterior of La Résidence, a restaurant that is part of Ground Control, Paris.

‘La Résidence is a kitchen that aims to give refugees in Paris the chance to present their ethnic cuisine.’

The lined hangar additionally has an natural grocery, espresso store, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar contained in the cockpit of a mock-up aircraft, in addition to less complicated pleasures equivalent to pinball, desk tennis and desk soccer. The boutique part showcases younger Parisian designers, designer furnishings and vinyl, with artwork exhibitions alongside classic collections of SNCF mannequin trains and nostalgic tourism posters. There can also be a devoted youngsters’ nook.

And, whereas the terrace is the right place to hang around on a sunny weekend, additionally it is value checking the web site for particulars of programs and workshops that supply all the pieces from cooking and gardening to upcycling and yoga, so long as you suppose your French is as much as it.

• Admission free, 81 rue du Charolais 75012, groundcontrolparis.com. Open Wed-Fri midday-midnight, Sat and Sun 11.00am-midnight


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