Paris Champs-Elysées Virgin Megastore to close

News reaches me via the glamorous Paris Daily Photo that the once legendary Virgin Megastore halfway up the Champs Elysées is to close.

This wouldn’t normally create any waves at all for me, but when I read the news, sipping my weekend evening hot gin toddy, I had a violent flashback to my time in Paris during my year abroad in 1999.

This Virgin Megastore had a café bar as part of one of its upper floors, which had an extensive cocktail menu – and the killer – a happy hour at the sort of time students about time could make use of it. We were at the British Institute in Paris, and I lived on the Av. de la Motte Picquet in a very bad room in a highly desirable part of town. We could walk to the Champs-Elysées in less than half an hour.

It all seems so unlikely that I am wondering as I type this whether I am misremembering. Would we really walk that far? Could you really buy cocktails in a Virgin Megastore? Could we ever afford to drink there on a student budget? Who’s idea was it anyways? All a mystery to me.

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