Harry’s New York Bar in Paris was founded on November 24, 1911, by an American jockey named Tod Sloan. Sloan wanted to create a bar that would appeal to English-speaking expatriates in Paris, so he transported an entire bar from New York to 5 Rue Daunou in Paris.
During the early years, the bar attracted a mixture of American expatriates, tourists, and French clientele. Many famous people have frequented Harry’s, including writers such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and composers like George Gershwin.
The bar played a significant role in cocktail history. It is credited with the creation or popularization of several classic cocktails, including the Bloody Mary, Sidecar, and French 75.
During the Prohibition era in the United States (1920-1933), the bar’s popularity grew as American tourists flocked to Paris to enjoy alcohol legally. It became a hub for socializing, networking, and even conducting business.
During both World Wars, Harry’s served as a gathering spot for American soldiers and journalists. It was an important cultural touchstone for English-speaking visitors, providing a familiar space in a foreign land.
Ownership changed hands several times throughout the years. In 1923, the bar was bought by Harry MacElhone, a Scottish bartender, who was instrumental in maintaining its reputation and influence.
Harry’s New York Bar continues to be an iconic institution in Paris, preserving a piece of American culture and history within the French capital. Its timeless appeal and unique connection to various historical events and figures make it a must-visit location for many tourists and cocktail fans.
Harry’s New York Bar
5 Rue Daunou, 75002 Paris, France