Ici Meme Counter

What happens when two fine arts graduates of the prestigious École du Louvre team up with a French wine expert? A cadre made in French heaven: a wine shop art gallery hybrid for enthusiasts who like their Sancerre with a side of up-and-coming art. Ici-même + Gallerie Graphem, located steps away from the manicured gardens of the Promenade Plantée, finds itself a home in this bohème corner of the 12th arrondissement.

Ici Meme, Tables

Art directors Fabienne Lafaye and Claire Aimonier-Davat, who started their careers in fine art galleries throughout Paris, conceptualized the adjoining Gallerie Graphem. Through their experience in the art world, they have been able to cultivate relationships with artists from all over Europe who have been invited to display their work at exhibitions booked through 2015. During their residency, artists are invited to bond the two spaces with a light sketch trailing from the gallery into the wine shop.

Ici Meme, Montage Interior

Ici Meme, Inside

Ici Meme Bottles

Bertrand Deniau, who gained his experience working in vineyards in France and Turkey, has carefully curated the selection of both organic and sulfite-free natural wines, along with personal favorites he has discovered over his decade-long devotion. He looks for wines that are not just pleasing to the senses, but those that are also interesting and fun, with labels that evoke conversation.

Ici Meme Bottles

The décor pairs pastoral wood tones with vintage touches; a 1960s typewriter sits quietly under a small selection of artisan to-go cocktail snacks; a hand-crafted birdcage overlooks the stately hunter green leather Draper-style seating nook for four that is placed discreetly in the back.

Ici Meme, Montage Bottles

Open only a month, Ici-même has already gained the affection and support of the neighborhood. During the day, longtime denizens of the arrondissement pop in to chat with the owners and to pick up a bottle of wine, and by night, with the current exhibition glowing onto the sidewalk, passersby are invited for a planche, a glass of wine, and perhaps small talk with the owners or one of the neighbors.

Ici Meme, Chairs

As with many cavistes throughout the city, the lease restricts Ici-même to officially be called a wine bar, and while guests are invited to settle in with a glass of wine, it must be paired with something to nibble on.

Ici Meme, Menu

In typical Paris convention, promising new spots tend to boast haute pricing and cool service that can seem exclusive to the Fashion Week crowd, discouraging culture zealots looking for something fresh without the ballyhoo of “the next big thing.” The welcoming atmosphere combined with glasses of wine starting at 3€ and generous assiettes of cured meats and local cheeses starting at 5€ make Ici-même the next new spot of this area well worth the fuss. Just ask a local.

Ici-même – 68 rue de Charenton, 75012 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 43 40 00 99

Ici Meme, Window

Related links:

Ici Meme, Montage Exterior

Written by Lisa Czarina Michaud for the HiP Paris Blog. All images by Palmyre Roigt. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


Lisa Czarina Michaud

Lisa Czarina Michaud is a native New Yorker who followed her calling for wine, cheese and beards when she moved to Paris on a whim. She is a novelist and translator. Her work has been published in Marie Claire UK, xoJane, Huffington Post Travel, HIP Paris and France Passion Magazine. She currently lives in France with her husband, son, and cat, Le Tigre.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *