“Heaven and Hell Cafés”

(Not an “official” blog post, but thought this would be worth sharing. Fitzgerald mentions these Montmartre cafés in “Babylon, Revisited” though at the time of these photos I believe they were a kind of night club thing.)

“L’Enfer was a night club on the boulevard de Clichy where your drinks were served by staff dressed as devils. Next door (just visible on the left of this image) was a cabaret called Le Ciel where the waitresses were dressed as angels. Both businesses were operated by the same proprietor and were well calculated to cater to the appetite for novelty and decadence in fin-de-siècle Paris. Entrance to L’Enfer was by way of a monstrous gaping jaw and the facade was embellished with sculptural representations of devils and souls in torment. A fiery furnace glowed in the centre and an unfortunate sinner can be seen pitching headlong into an eternity of suffering.”   From http://buttes-chaumont.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html
Relevant paragraph:
“Zelli’s was closed, the bleak and sinister cheap hotels surrounding
it were dark; up in the Rue Blanche there was more light and a
local, colloquial French crowd. The Poet’s Cave had disappeared,
but the two great mouths of the Café of Heaven and the Café of Hell
still yawned–even devoured, as he watched, the meager contents of
a tourist bus–a German, a Japanese, and an American couple who
glanced at him with frightened eyes.”
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