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Polly Maggoo

At the age of 28, Jacques Boni opened a small, intimate bar called Polly Maggoo in the Latin Quarter of Paris. When he entered the bar business, the student revolutionary days of the late 1960s began. Polly Maggoo became a popular gathering place for revolutionaries and intellectuals.

"May 68." is the name for the period when student demonstrations and occupation protests led to strikes across the country and the near overthrow of former President Charles de Gaulle. The main student protests took place in the Latin Quarter.

In such an atmosphere, Jacques Boni opened his first bar under the name Polly Magoo, named after the French film "Who are you, Polly Magoo?", which represented the fashion world and its excesses.

Jacques Boni could talk for hours about the events.

"Polly Magoo was a 'phénomène social'," says Jacques. "If you wanted to make a revolution, you came there. Sometimes 300 people would try to squeeze into a bar that seats 90. It became popular overnight. It was inexplicable. It was the first pop art bar with posters on the wall. No one has done it before. People traveled to get here.”

Among those who frequented Polly Magoo's were Jim Morrison and Abbe Pierre, the inspirational French humanitarian, who owned a bar next door to Polly Magoo's. "It was a meeting place for intellectual men and women from all countries," says Jacques. "I wanted to be an intellectual, I wanted to be a writer, so I hung out with people like that."

Polly Magoo's popularity waned, however, as the French student riots subsided in 1969, so in the early 1970s Jacques turned to a new career as a stage director at the Caveau de la Bolée in nearby Saint-Michel, Paris. It was a turning point in Jacques' career. Jacques developed variety shows at the Caveau de la Bolée with singers, comedians and magicians. Jacques died at the age of 80 on March 21, 2020.

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