So, finally, we will be able to find these pillars of French social life: the bar and the restaurant, very incarnations of living together and of all that we have been missing since the end of October. Yeah, have to see. Because we will only find their terraces, at first. For those who have one.
Because it is a real concern in Brest. Yes the community has renewed its proposal for the extension of terraces, successfully tested last summer, sidewalks are not extendable. And apart from the ports, lower Siam and around the Place de la Liberté, it will often be difficult to get more than a handful of tables.
“Between the gauge and the weather …”
And as if these provisions were not drastic enough, the government has decided, since the initial announcements of Emmanuel Macron, to reduce the reception on terraces to a capacity of 50%. Details that have dampened the already faltering enthusiasm of many professionals, especially as the weather is still shaping up to be unfavorable next week.
At the headquarters of Umih 29, the trade union for the hotel and catering trade, we did not go by four ways, a week before the long-awaited date. “Under these conditions, members who call us are not advised to open on May 19. Between the reduced gauge and the rain, frankly, it’s money lost ”.
In fact, just a few days before the fateful date, most restaurants in Brest had not yet announced their reopening. The establishments which will serve this Wednesday will be mainly those which had maintained a take-out offer in recent weeks. The others do not seem in a hurry.
“Sure of having to refuse customers”
“If you have a small terrace, recalling a cook and a waiter, that is not worth it economically”, summarizes Dan McGuigan, vice-president of Umih 29. He will reopen at the port: “Also because that allows the machine to be put back into operation before summer. And, casually, there is a little jitters to get back on track ”. Last summer, the recovery was indeed quite brutal for bars and restaurants. The idea of a gradual restart is therefore not to displease professionals, who, for some, fear a too brutal tidal wave, after a long stop, from the month of June.
At Tir na Nog, rue de Siam, for example, we decided to open only from 2 p.m., and only for the bar activity. “Because we work in the fresh air: with the weather outside, the risk is quite simply to spoil,” describes Tangi Peton, the boss. “The bar will allow us to gently restart the machine. But the fear, even the certainty, is having to refuse to serve customers for lack of space on the terrace. Especially if it’s raining and you can’t lie on the sidewalk! “.
Here, as in most establishments, no table reservations will be possible. So some of its customers have warned: they are ready to pitch the tent on Tuesday evening so as not to miss the reopening!
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