Last May, the Athénée 4 opened a new chapter in its history and became a music bar. The artist Ginevra Mandelli painted a mural decorating the stairs leading to this mythical and mystical place. Beauty is everywhere you look. I walked down the S-shaped steel staircase to discover a magnificent make-over. I contemplated the metamorphosis while ordering some cocktails and tapas; in front of me, a portrait of Marcel Proust. Behind the beautifully decorated bar, Romain, the “herbalist” is working hard: many cocktails that he makes are based on gin but Romain can also satisfy all your wishes. The Athénée 4 offers a selection of craft beers and local wines while the chef, Jean-Etienne, offers a meticulous and delicate cuisine. So yes, you may order the usual cold meat or cheese starters but do me a favour and order something a little more creative such as the Burratina or the chicken brochette with flower honey.
Concerts are scheduled throughout the year, just check the online agenda.
As for the history of this building, here it is: the Athénée 4 represents an architectural heritage of the city of Calvin. Its history began in 1861 when the architect Louis Brocher was entrusted with the construction of the building by William Turrettini. The nave is built with limestone from the Jura, enclosed by a wooden gallery, supported by columns. The establishment of the Free Church opened its doors to 250 children in 1864 … But culture took over the cult around 1920: doctors moved in before the Slatkine editions and then the Coop (which kept its wine there) took over.
The Athénée, however, remains a family building that is passed on to the descendants of Sophie Turrettini (daughter of William if you are still following me) and in May 2000, after a new make-over by the architects Janos Farago and Albéric Hopf – a new access to the building by the garden and the famous S-shaped steel staircase – the Gallery was inaugurated. In the middle of this underground chapel, a Steinway grand piano on which many artists of the Festival Les Athénéennes offered me unforgettable memories prior to this new chapter …
Rue de l’Athénée 4, 1205 Geneva
Tue to Sat 6pm-midnight, no reservation