This summer, the owners of the vino and crystal pick barroom Folderol took a fig of measures to negociate crowds aft their tiny concern experienced an unsolicited question of TikTok fame.
Sept. 15, 2023, 5:02 a.m. ET
“They don’t adjacent sensation the crystal cream,” Jessica Yang said of the social-media-conscious assemblage that descended this summertime connected Folderol, a earthy vino barroom and artisanal crystal pick parlor successful Paris that she owns and operates with her husband, Robert Compagnon. “They conscionable fto it excavation into a vessel of melting liquid and dice successful the sun.”
In precocious April, a regular enactment began to signifier extracurricular Folderol’s reddish storefront arsenic the concern grew successful popularity, thanks successful ample portion to TikTok. As the outpouring bloomed into a summertime that saw a record fig of tourists traveling to Europe, the lines became longer.
Throughout June and July, tourists and contented creators flocked to Folderol, waiting for hours connected its different quiescent 11th arrondissement thoroughfare truthful that they, too, could recreate what they had seen online: fashionable people sitting connected Parisian curbs, eating crystal pick from alloy coupes, smoking cigarettes and swigging wine.
Both 37-year-old chefs, Ms. Yang and Mr. Compagnon met successful Paris successful 2010 portion moving successful the room of the highly acclaimed edifice Guy Savoy. Mr. Compagnon, who is French American, and Ms. Yang, who is Taiwanese American, spent the adjacent fewer years betwixt Paris and New York City, moving astatine restaurants including Le Jules Verne, Momofuku Ko, Chef’s Table astatine Brooklyn Fare and Per Se.
The mates opened Folderol successful December 2020, 1 doorway down from their intimate Michelin-star-winning restaurant, Le Rigmarole. As caller parents, they were inspired to commencement a household affable business. “We wanted it to beryllium a spot wherever parents and kids could spell and person fun,” Ms. Yang said astir their hopes for Folderol. “Parents could person a solid of wine; kids could person immoderate crystal cream.”
Because of coronavirus restrictions, erstwhile Folderol opened, it was takeout-only. Customers would prime up a vessel from the bar’s curated enactment of small-batch earthy wines oregon a pint of seasonally inspired crystal cream, hand-churned by Ms. Yang successful a labor-intensive, 48-hour process.
As the pandemic eased, customers were allowed wrong Folderol, but fixed its constricted indoor seating and the al fresco eating civilization of Paris, galore patrons chose to devour and portion outside. This gave emergence to Folderol’s curbside aesthetic, which garnered wide entreaty connected TikTok.
“So I support seeing radical station photos and videos from this spot successful Paris called Folderol, and I’ve honestly ne'er felt similar I needed to spell someplace much than I bash close now,” Anna Hyclak, a 35-year-old American surviving successful London, said successful a TikTok video successful June. “Spiritually, it is calling to me. Like, I consciousness similar it would cure my slump to beryllium connected these sidewalks.”
Ms. Hyclak’s reel garnered implicit 20,000 likes and 167 comments, astir lamenting Folderol’s viral fame. One TikTok idiosyncratic wrote: “I unrecorded truly adjacent to this spot and it’s wholly intolerable to spell now. The enactment is immense and afloat of teenagers/TikTokers astatine each times.” Another commented: “I went and it felt similar a photograph sprout set. Like I’m definite it was astonishing earlier but present it’s each the manner girlies going determination for content.”
Many of Folderol’s longtime customers were enactment disconnected by the crowd. “Last summertime I utilized to travel successful each the time,” said Samantha Luevano, a 27-year-old copywriter successful Paris. “I utilized to beryllium extracurricular and devour my crystal pick and portion vino casually. There’d beryllium similar 5 radical here.” This summer, Ms. Luevano chose to prime up pints of crystal pick and bottles of vino astatine Folderol alternatively of eating successful because, she said, the hectic ambiance caused her “anxiety.”
Mr. Compagnon likened the concern to “running a marathon successful flip flops.” Their tiny cognition struggled to support up with demand. Frustrated clients started leaving the concern antagonistic reviews. The beauteous crystal pick coupes, which the owners recovered astatine Parisian flea markets, began to spell missing. On 4 occasions, neighbors called the constabulary astir the crowd.
“We wanted our estimation to beryllium based connected the prime of the nutrient and what we produce,” Mr. Compagnon said. “We didn’t spot this coming.”
In precocious May, Ms. Yang and Mr. Compagnon began instituting a bid of measures, which they telephone “roadblocks,” successful an effort to regain power of Folderol.
First, they decreased the fig of vino glasses they had disposable to enactment a headdress connected the fig of customers they could service astatine once. Then they hired a bouncer to assistance their unit with assemblage control. Next, they enactment up signs to the close of Folderol’s beforehand doorway that read, successful English: “No TikTok” and “Be present to person fun, not to instrumentality pictures.”
In July, they banned guests from sitting extracurricular wholly — an unpopular measurement with those who had travel conscionable to pose. “‘Oh, we can’t beryllium extracurricular and instrumentality pictures?’” Mr. Compagnon said, imitating customers who were not alert of Folderol’s caller rules. “And truthful they conscionable leave.”
While Folderol was connected its yearly August break, the popular prima Dua Lipa named Folderol arsenic 1 of her “favorite French restaurants” successful a Vogue France video. Despite Ms. Lipa’s shout-out, the ambiance was noticeably calmer erstwhile Folderol reopened connected August 30. “We’re feeling better,” Mr. Compagnon said. “People look to beryllium overmuch much understanding.”
Bianca de la Luna, a 25-year-old exemplary from Germany, visited Folderol the time it reopened. After admitting that she had learned astir Folderol connected TikTok, Ms. de la Luna whispered, “I don’t privation to accidental that excessively large successful here.”
“I’d emotion to instrumentality the Instagram representation with the crystal pick and wine,” said her person Huy Nguyen, an 18-year-old creation student. “But present it’s forbidden.”