Paris on Ponce was a BeltLine staple. Located just off the Eastside Trail, it was known for its unique antiques and wild parties. When it was destroyed by a fire in 2019, Atlanta lost a treasure. But like the phoenix, it resurrected in a different form, in the historic Healey Building downtown. In December 2022, that, too, shuttered, but this time with a new plan. On October 6, Paris on Ponce owners Skip Englebrecht (Fishmonger, 8ARM) and Nicolette Valdespino will kick off a new era of the concept with the opening of Pigalle by Paris on Ponce at Underground Atlanta.
A 6,000-square-foot theater and speakeasy, Pigalle (pronounced with a silent e) will bring the sexy, whimsical, bohemian vibes of Paris on Ponce with unique entertainment and decor. “Almost every Atlanta native has a story that begins with Underground Atlanta,” Valdespino says in a press release. “Our destination has been a staple in Atlanta for more than 25 years. To us, there was no better setting for our next location than Underground Atlanta—a place that fosters unique synergies between creatives and artists.”
Named after a bohemian red-light-style district in Paris, Pigalle is divided into four areas. A 140-seat gilded theater is the highlight, with a grand staircase leading up to a New Orleans-style wraparound porch and balcony. There, a bar will offer wine and bubbles. Back through the theater in the other direction is a neon, futuristic speakeasy with a focus on absinthe. Outside the theater, a former ticket booth has been turned into a red-hot blended drink bar (think frozen Irish coffee) with space to mingle.
Everywhere you go, eclectic items such as statues, busts, lamps, and chinoiserie add to the vibe. Valdespino and Englebrecht collected these pieces overseas and locally, including from the home of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Servers will don retro cabaret attire. Entertainment will vary depending on the night of the week and time of the year. Valdespino is already planning Haunted Tavern and Hocus Pocus shows and a Barbie Ball—all include four drinks in the cost of admission. In November, Pigalle will begin hosting Tiki Thursdays, chanteuse Fridays, ticketed jazz, cabaret, and burlesque shows on Saturdays, and occasional Sunday brunch. Members (invite-only, $350/year) will have exclusive access to Monday speakeasy nights.
“This is an homage to what we did at Paris on Ponce, but it’s bigger and better,” Valdespino says. She is leading the programming in the theater, while Englebrect directs his energy to the speakeasy. A moodier space, the speakeasy has a 32-foot bar and two soft-seating areas. One, called the Hemingway Nook, sports taxidermy on the wall and leather-back chairs. The other, called Colette, features velvet curtains and a leopard chaise. There, bottle service will be absinthe-themed with the alcohol poured over sugar cubes. Fourteen varieties of absinthe will be available, as well as French, Spanish, and Napa Valley wines, bottled beer, and traditional liquor. A concise menu of amuse bouche will include charcuterie, duck confit, and pickles.
Located in the space once home to Mick’s, Pigalle joins prominent nightlife spots the Masquerade, MJQ Concourse, and Future nightclub nearby.
“Everybody has a story that starts with Underground. It’s about the sense of history you get walking through,” Valdespino says.