The Shmooze

John Galliano’s Old Haunt Draws Hip Crowd

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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John Galliano is no longer at Christian Dior, nor does he go any more to the La Perle café-bar in the Marais district of Paris. That was the setting for the drunken anti-Semitic tirades that got him into trouble not only with his former employer, but also with the law. But the fact that those hateful outbursts happened there has apparently made La Perle a hip place to hang out.

The neighborhood establishment, which caters to local workers and families during the day, is now so crowded late at night that its young, upscale patrons are crowding the sidewalks outside.

The New York Times points out that La Perle, unlike the Marais district in which it is located, is neither gay nor Jewish. It is owned by Jean-Philippe Nighoghossian, who is half-Jewish and half-Armenian. While he can’t be too upset about the increased business, he does express frustration over the fact that his café-bar is now associated with the Galliano scandal. “We were put into the same water as Galliano. We got so many angry, insulting calls and messages — people accusing us of being a ‘Fascist’ place. I have people of all origins working here, and we were all really shaken up,” he told the Times. “Both the Jews and the Armenians were persecuted peoples, and that made the slurs against me, my staff and my establishment even more painful.”

Whatever La Perle’s reputation, it should enjoy its 15 minutes of fame. The high level of interest in the place will likely not last too much longer. “Now that it’s called a trendy hot spot on so many Internet blogs, the trendy hot spot has gone somewhere else,” said one fickle patron.


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