Paris Blues

Paris Blues, New York City: Address, Phone Number, Paris Blues Reviews: 4.5/5

Paris Blues
4.5
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About
In 1969 Samuel Hargress, Jr., now 78 years old, opened and has continuously managed Paris Blues at it's current location in the heart of Harlem, NY. Today boasting 7 nights of LIVE JAZZ with NO COVER, FREE FOOD and GOOD DRINKS, REASONABLY PRICED in his rare place where the high and low rub elbows, visitors are treated to an authentic neighborhood bar and Jazz Jam throw-back experience in which they are welcome and encouraged to join.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Harlem
As a hub of African American culture, Harlem has played a vital role in the history of New York City. Today, the neighborhood is as vibrant as ever as new businesses and developments go up next to local institutions. The heart of the neighborhood is bustling 125th Street, where street vendors and historic landmarks like the Apollo Theater mingle with big-name stores. Turn down almost any corner, and you’ll discover some of the most beautiful blocks in the city, filled with handsome brownstones, soul food restaurants, corner shops, and scenic parks. For a taste of a real New York neighborhood, it’s hard to top a visit to Harlem.
How to get there
  • 116th St • 7 min walk
  • 116th St • 7 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
67 reviews
Excellent
44
Very good
14
Average
4
Poor
1
Terrible
4

Marc I
New York City, NY39 contributions
Friends
This is jazz done right by talented local musicians who are just iching to play. Arrived at 845 p.m. and saw only about half dozen people at the bar to the right. A bartender came out to greet us, and we were the first to take one of the few tables to the left. By 11:00 p.m. place was packed with a cozy mix of locals and out-of-towners (many speaking European languages). You may have read that chicken, rice and beans are available gratis. This is true. I note that people seemed to be considerate of others and took small portions, if they took any at all. Beer is about $7 bucks and mixed drinks about $10-12 bucks. Going in, you might think these prices are on the high side for a place that looks a bit "divey," but that must be how they pay the band because there's no cover charge (hence the bucket that went around for tips for the band). That night it was Melvin Hines & The Harlem Jazz Machine: keyboard, guitar, sax, bass, drums, piccolo, djembe and a walk-on trumpeter. They were all smokin on the same page and the audience definitely felt that. A fabulous evening. I am coming back.
Written February 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

pmrshll
NJ34 contributions
Couples
Pure, essential, classic neighborhood dive bar blues joint
Friendly, welcoming atmosphere, no cover, no minimum
Music honest and good
You even get a chicken dinner if you time it right
Drinks are pricey, but see above re no cover, so it's well worth it
Written March 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gordon P
Stockton, CA51 contributions
Friends
Live music most nights and sometimes free food served. Always good energy and plenty of musical surprises. Old school Harlem divey vibe. The price is right: $0. Good vocalists and musicians welcome to join the regular jams. Call ahead to find out who's playing and when they start and finish. Crazy juke box plays it all: From Soul to Dean Martin to Country.
Written March 1, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shugga D R
New York City, NY18 contributions
Solo
Sunday evening around 10:30 pm the bar had 5 people there. I sat at the bar and greeted the barmaid, I asked if there was live music tonight? She said they were on break. As I began to settle myself in...this old dude says..."you have to order a drink if you are going to sit at my bar. Surprised by that statement. I said, "I just got here, let me take my time and settle down"...this clowns says "you on my time" I had to let him know I was invited by the owner, Mr. Sam and this is not his (the old dude) bar and I will be sure to tell him how you spoke to me...oh, he went on like a fool. While the barmaid is glaring at me and the other 3 people is listening in to this ramping of words. I turned sweetly to the barmaid and asked if she had Grand Marnier..."no", she says. I gingerly grabbed my coat and said I will sure tell my "uncle Sam" how his guest was treated. I left!
That dive. Rude and ignorant employee.
when I returned back to my flat, I told another person about the experience and they said, that is one of the reason they don't go there often to perform or visit...just low class employees.
Written September 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Steph R
16 contributions
Couples
My husband and I stayed in Harlem for our honeymoon. I love jazz and this great find was right down the road. The bartenders were very friendly and shared about their lives and their kids. The jazz was fantastic. Drinks were very expensive, but it was still a great place to hear some authentic jazz.
Written June 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andreas S
Oslo, Norway35 contributions
Couples
We came here for a couple of hours of jazz and an authentic Harlem experience. I understand that Harlem har become heavily gentrified, but this place seemed like the real deal, based on the shabby decor and rude staff. I think they kind of add to the authentic feel and didn't mind too much. Lots of tourists here though.

The jazz is just fine and we thoroughly enjoyed the band. Drinks are expensive, but there's no cover, so no problems understanding that.

Overall we were happy and recommend it over the far slicker, but soulless alternatives.
Written January 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gram-BR
Sao Paulo, SP10 contributions
Couples
Based on the night we were there, can't understand how this place gets good reviews. No food, overpriced beer (10 dollars for a small bottle of Harlem-brewed pale ale), and the music had nothing to do with Jazz or Blues. Only tourists in attendance.
Written July 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

492HappyTraveler
Los Angeles53 contributions
Friends
If you have an affinity for a good old-fashioned neighborhood bar (or dive, if you will), this would be the spot for you. My friends and and I just spent six days in New York, and since we were staying at the Mount Morris House (and this joint was only a few blocks away), we regularly stopped in for a night cap and to listen to some jumpin' live music.

There's no cover charge, the drinks are reasonably priced and the food (barbeque chicken, red beans and rice) is free, so what more could you want? They greet you with a smile when you enter and ask you to come back again when you leave....just the kind of cordial, let's-have-some-fun atmosphere that I love. Paris Blues offers that little melting pot of congeniality that lets you know you are getting the true Harlem experience.

Do yourself a favor and partake!
Written October 16, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

yabogriff
1 contribution
Im from NJ and it was very easy to get to using public transportation. I felt safe walking the streets at night there. What a great atmosphere to go listen to live music. Very down to earth people and I really thought I was transported back to the jazz/blues era. Rare to find such a place I had a great time.
Written June 8, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Richard
New York City, NY521 contributions
Friends
Paris Blues has a conservatively small menu, I liked the lasagna, and the service was more congenial than other places in the area.
Written December 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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