Lyon is gorgeous at night fall, when all the city lights are turned on. Such was the case one Sunday evening, when a friend and I hopped aboard La Passagère de Saint-Malo, on a quest to find something different from the usual bar scene Lyon offers its visitors.
La Passagère is a former Breton ferry turned into a bar. Docked on the banks of the river Rhone, it offers stunning views of Wilson Bridge, especially at night when it’s lit.
The ambience was not-so-cozy when we arrived due to the limited indoor space. Plus, it was freezing cold outside so nobody wanted to chill out there. But the good music and the flowing rhum cocktails eventually made us forget the minor inconveniences like constant rubbing of backs and elbows and whatever else with the people behind you. We settled in and enjoyed the beautiful evening with the crowd, which was mature and decent. In no time, it was two in the morning, and we were still jamming to the beats!
Apart from its cocktails on board and unusual ambience, what makes La Passagère even more charming and special is it gives music enthusiasts—both young and old, experts and amateurs alike—an opportunity to share their passion and love for music on stage. Anyone can sing or sing along or play an instrument—any instrument at all, be it drums, guitars, saxophones, and yes, even shakers!It was fascinating watching different people, from different walks of life, who barely knew each other, speak one common language: MUSIC! Playing by the ear! I cried at the sheer magic of it all, and no, definitely not because I was rhum tipsy, but because it’s true: When you take time to stop and look around, you’ll realize that this life is pretty amazing. Here is a short video clip I put together.
It was lovely having the chance for a quick chat with Olivier, a singer, songwriter, and saxophonist (even though he plays many other instruments). I met him a couple of times before but never had an opportunity to talk. Olivier has been playing at La Passagère every Sunday, for the past 10 years. For him, the little boat bar was home.The next time you find yourself wandering the streets of Lyon on a Sunday evening, swing by La Passagère for an aperitif. After your third glass of rhum cocktail, I guarantee you’ll be surprised at just how good you are playing saxophone!
La Passagère de Saint-Malo
21 quay Victor Augagneur – 69007 Lyon.
Monday, 3:00 PM-1:00 AM
Tuesday to Saturday, 3:00 PM-3:00 AM
Sunday: 3:00 PM-Midnight
7:00 PM-8:00 PM