[ENQUÊTE] In Search of the Capital’s Disappearing Cafés | Company

[enquÊte] in search of the capital's disappearing cafés | company

Whereas strolling within the streets of the capital, one sees increasingly outdated premises of bar-tobacconist invested by new tradesmen. Like that of rue des Bluets (eleventh) changed by a darkish kitchen, or that of the district of boulevard de Strasbourg (tenth), which has stored solely the tobacco suffix as its most important exercise. Beneath the neon lights of this now tobacconist, a gaggle of younger folks compulsively scratch sport tickets. Astro, Money, Millionaire, the shiny papers of La Française des Jeux sharpen the nails.

A 5-minute adrenaline shot. The potential of taking a novel journey via the partitions of the social elevator. Omar, a neighborhood hairdresser, swallows his first cup of espresso whereas scratching. Scratching stokes the embers of destiny. When the hand works, the nail vegetates within the magic of fictional worlds created by La Française des Jeux. However for the reason that closure of his favourite café, Omar has misplaced the little porcelain cup that served as his enterprise card and allowed him to begin a refreshing dialog early within the morning. The cardboard cup purchased on the native bakery replaces it. “The closing of the bar killed the soul of the boulevard” he slips nostalgically.


The story of a bar-tobacconist crushed up

The signal that celebrates the winners nonetheless sits in entrance of the signal. It rewards the nameless heroes of scratching, characterizes the character of the achievement: the quantity of the sum pocketed. “Right here lies a victorious nail” appears to point the signal. However make no mistake: playful conversations, passing friendships and long-lasting friendships aren’t the topic of a specific celebration. The soul of the place and its encounters have evaporated in the midst of city. Solely recollections endure.

André, guardian of a constructing within the neighborhood and inveterate scratcher for 20 years, remembers the second he went from shadow to mild within the friction of a room. In 2009, he received the sum of €4,000 whereas taking part in at Purpose. The metaphor of sport, very current within the creativeness of playing, transforms the achieve into efficiency. In a single day, André turned the star of the place. “Earlier than, everybody took me for the pillar of the bar. They referred to as me the tree, so I stagnated on the counter. Since I received at Purpose, they name me the penalty. »

However why are Parisian cafes disappearing? A primary clarification: quick meals eating places and quick meals teams have multiplied, because of their important monetary capability, the acquisition of Parisian cafes coveted for his or her strategic location. A narrative of wrestle for location, but in addition of renewal of the buyer expertise.

Parisian cafes are not the prerogative of espresso. The espresso machine, the espresso store and the locations that provide espresso to remove (bakeries, eating places, and many others.) compete with their hegemony. Habits are additionally altering. Teleworking, the shortening of lunch breaks and take-out gross sales not encourage elbows to linger on the zinc. Fortuitously, the phenomenon just isn’t uniform, as a result of the districts of the middle of Paris appear spared by disappearances, in response to the research of Crocis.

The Café de Flore: remnants of a fable

To talk of espresso is to designate each a drink and a spot of consumption. The semantic shift that passed off between the importation of the product into France within the seventeenth century and the opening of institutions dedicated to its consumption is the signal of a change in follow. A refined product of the Parisian Court docket, espresso progressively unfold all through society to turn out to be a preferred drink and an actual place of sociability. A standard creativeness is fashioned round these usually Parisian locations: the literary cafés of Saint-Germain are their normal bearer. Nevertheless, the executive closure of Parisian cafes in March 2020 doesn’t appear to have broken the picture of this fable. But when the imaginary nonetheless exists, is it nonetheless embodied by actual locations?

Opposite to financial disappearances, compelled and suffered by clients, is not the seek for authenticity one other type of disappearance of the parable of Parisian cafés? To confirm this, you needed to go to the Café de Flore, a spot symbolic of the effervescence of literary cafés at the beginning of the twentieth century. From the menu to the ambiance, together with the espresso costing round €5, every part is orchestrated to provide us the impression of being on the time of Jean-Paul Sartre. On this Disneyland of literature, vacationers have changed writers. Formal exchanges – “Espresso and croissant please” – have changed dialogue of concepts.

Essayist Jean-Laurent Cassely analyzes this quest for authenticity in No Pretend. For him, what satisfies the purchasers of a Parisian café just isn’t the truth that the place is genuine, however the truth that it appears genuine. In different phrases, it issues little that the authenticity is staged, so long as we create for the shopper “indicators of authenticity”, which consult with the idealized model that they’ve of the place.

When the purist cries out for the disappearance of Parisian cafes, the layman is content material with the phantasm of fable.

To know extra :
“Uncommon historical past of Parisian cafés”
Editions Perrin “Within the true Zinc of Paris”, Editions Parigramme

Book Now at Agoda.com & Save Up to 75% on the best Paris Hotels

BookVIP Deals and find your next Vacation

Search for the Best Hotel Deals Anywhere! Book now and save up to 40% on your stay. Only At ParkSleepFly.com

Discover the best of Paris


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.