I didn’t expect to see comic book characters in a window between the Louvre and Notre Dame, but on a recent trip to Paris, that’s exactly what happened. At first I thought I’d found Paris’ comic book shop. Then I discovered it was actually Dernier Bar Avant La Fin Du Monde, or in English, “Last Bar Before the End of the World.” It just opened in August at 19 avenue Victoria in le théâtre du Châtelet. If you happen to live in Paris, you were probably waiting all summer for it. If you don’t, you should put it on the list of must-sees for your next visit.
The first thing you see when you walk in is a large sculpture of the Millennium Falcon above a clock counting down to the December 21 Mayan apocalypse (pictured above). The second thing you’ll see is a case that instructs you to deposez vos armes–deposit your weapons. It’s already holding a Klingon bat’leth, Harry Potter wand, Jedi light saber, and the One Ring, among others, suggesting that you may encounter some interesting fellow drinkers at the bar.
You walk up a few steps to the bar area itself and find yourself immersed in something a little bit steampunk, a little bit everything-geek. Just past the bar, deep scarlet walls surround luscious leather couches in front of bookcases full of comics, RPG source books, novels, and stacks upon stacks of tabletop games.
After a few rounds, you might decide it’s time to visit the little aliens’ room. If you’re a lady alien, you can choose between the Zoe door and the Kaylee door, but either way, what’s behind it is just an ordinary toilette. However, if you’re lucky enough to be an alien who stands to pee, the urinals have screens and double as video games with an unusual input device. You’ll be presented with the opportunity to ski down a hill while targeting penguins (try to beat a high score in the 150s) or to answer geek trivia questions.
Opposite the penguin-killing potty is a door labelled “The Singularity.” On my first visit, it was closed, and I assumed it was simply a stock room or another way into the kitchen. Upon returning, I discovered that it leads ever deeper into Dernier Bar’s three stories, including a second bar. (The lower bar has a lesser selection of food, but plenty of drinks.) Just when you think you’ve reached the bottom, a TARDIS door leads to an even larger space inside than you expected from the outside. You can take your games down there or reserve the space for private parties.
On the way to my second visit to Dernier Bar, I exited the Metro to find two girls wrapped in bandages and covered in blood coming from another escalator. “I don’t know what happened that way,” I said to two friends, “but let’s go the other way.” Going the other way walked us straight into an ever-increasing zombie horde. It figures that the geekiest bar in the world would become ground zero for the zombie apocalypse. In fact, it was the base for Paris Zombie Walk.
The menu is light on food, but heavy on great names. The drink list includes a 42, Captain’s Order!, The Dude, Poison Ivy, Proton Pack, and of course, a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. For a non-alcoholic beverage, you can try a Jedi Knight (energy drink, caramel, milk, orange blossom, and sugar) or From Melmack With Love (tomato juice, soy sauce, coconut syrup, Tabasco, and soda). The nachos are just called nachos, but they come with an orange bowl of something that tastes like ordinary nacho cheese, but is delightfully whipped and fluffy.
Dernier Bar is everything a geek haven should be. (Unless you have a heart problem, since the box labelled défibrillateur contains a Pikachu.) You’ll walk among movie posters and signs reminiscent of your favorite bits of pop culture. You’ll sit among friends. People who came for the same love of geekery. And you might never want to leave. See more pictures in this Flickr set.