“They don’t even taste the ice cream,” Jessica Yang said of the social-media-conscious crowd that descended this summer on Folderol, a natural wine bar and artisanal ice cream parlor in Paris that she owns and operates with her husband, Robert Compagnon. “They just let it pool into a bowl of melting liquid and die in the sun.”
In late April, a daily line began to form outside Folderol’s red storefront as the business grew in popularity, thanks in large part to TikTok. As the spring bloomed into a summer that saw a record number of tourists traveling to Europe, the lines became longer.
Throughout June and July, tourists and content creators flocked to Folderol, waiting for hours on its otherwise quiet 11th arrondissement street so that they, too, could recreate what they had seen online: fashionable folk sitting on Parisian curbs, eating ice cream from steel coupes, smoking cigarettes and swigging wine.
Both 37-year-old chefs, Ms. Yang and Mr. Compagnon met in Paris in 2010 while working in the kitchen of the highly acclaimed restaurant Guy Savoy. Mr. Compagnon, who is French American, and Ms. Yang, who is Taiwanese American, spent the next few years between Paris and New York City, working at restaurants including Le Jules Verne, Momofuku Ko, Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare and Per Se.
The couple opened Folderol in December 2020, one door down from their intimate Michelin-star-winning restaurant, Le Rigmarole. As new parents, they were inspired to start a family friendly business. “We wanted it to be a place where parents and kids could go and have fun,” Ms. Yang said about their hopes for Folderol. “Parents could have a glass of wine; kids could have some ice cream.”
Because of coronavirus restrictions, when Folderol opened, it was takeout-only. Customers would pick up a bottle from the bar’s curated selection of small-batch natural wines or a pint of seasonally inspired ice cream, hand-churned by Ms. Yang in a labor-intensive, 48-hour process.
As the pandemic eased, customers were allowed inside Folderol, but given its limited indoor seating and the al fresco dining culture of Paris, many patrons chose to eat and drink outside. This gave rise to Folderol’s curbside aesthetic, which garnered mass appeal on TikTok.
“So I keep seeing people post photos and videos from this place in Paris called Folderol, and I’ve honestly never felt like I needed to go someplace more than I do right now,” Anna Hyclak, a 35-year-old American living…