Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Café Lapérouse

Meanwhile, in Paris...From WWD:

“The idea is not to go for volume. The idea is to go for value and quality,” said Patou, adding that the first international Café Lapérouse could bow within 12 months. “We want to open in iconic locations that will accentuate the magical aura of the brand.”

When the executive visited the Hôtel de la Marine, he was struck by a portrait of 18th-century French navigator Jean-François de La Pérouse, who was lost at sea while exploring the Pacific under the rule of King Louis XVI. Though unrelated to the founder of the restaurant, the naval officer ended up inspiring the project.

“It suddenly clicked in my mind. It felt obvious that the first Café Lapérouse should be in the Hôtel de la Marine, this magical, prestigious and somewhat mysterious place — because for 250 years, everyone walked past it, but nobody was allowed inside,” Patou told WWD.

After serving for two centuries as the headquarters for the French navy, the building recently reopened as a museum after a four-year renovation. The sprawling, column-lined complex will also house the Foundation for the Memory of Slavery, the Al Thani Collection, a gift shop and offices.

Moma Group plans to open a second restaurant on site called Mimosa and headed by award-winning chef Jean-François Piège, in addition to a fine foods store, which will sell bottles from Lapérouse’s wine cellar and luxury items like foie gras, truffles and caviar. There will also be a separate chocolate and ice cream parlor.

Though de Castellane already had a hand in sprucing up the historic Lapérouse restaurant, she said it was her first time designing a restaurant from scratch. “It’s an exception,” she said, explaining that she took on the side project at Arnault’s request. “I thought it was a fun challenge.” (Read more.)


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