PARIS — French hospitality agency Moma Group has taken step one towards the launch of a global chain of upscale espresso outlets with the opening of Café Lapérouse contained in the just lately renovated Hôtel de la Marine in Paris.
The venture is backed by Antoine Arnault, head of communications and picture at luxurious conglomerate LVMH Môët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and chief government officer of Berluti, who joined as an investor when the unique Lapérouse restaurant, based in 1766, was renovated in 2019. Branching out was at all times a part of the plan.
With two sheltered terraces off the Place de la Concorde, the primary spin-off vacation spot of the restaurant is a brand new sort of providing for Paris, with a lush inside designed by Cordelia de Castellane, creative director of Dior Maison, and a menu that ranges in value from a 12-euro avocado toast to a boiled egg with caviar priced at 45 euros.
“It’s something that doesn’t exist. It’s not a traditional restaurant. It’s a hip and sophisticated coffee shop, with very high-quality food, décor and tableware,” stated Benjamin Patou, CEO of Moma Group. “It’s like going to a café in Los Angeles. You go for a matcha latte or a vegetarian salad, but this type of setting is new.”
Due to delays brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Paris outpost has opened concurrently a department in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera. Up subsequent is a nook on the Printemps flagship in Paris subsequent month, to be adopted by areas in New York City, London, Singapore and Miami.
“The idea is not to go for volume. The idea is to go for value and quality,” stated Patou, including that the primary worldwide Café Lapérouse may bow inside 12 months. “We want to open in iconic locations that will accentuate the magical aura of the brand.”
When the chief visited the Hôtel de la Marine, he was struck by a portrait of 18th-century French navigator Jean-François de La Pérouse, who was misplaced at sea whereas exploring the Pacific underneath the rule of King Louis XVI. Though unrelated to the founding father of the restaurant, the naval officer ended up inspiring the venture.
“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 instructed WWD.
After serving for 2 centuries because the headquarters for the French navy, the constructing just lately reopened as a museum after a four-year renovation. The sprawling, column-lined advanced can even home the Foundation for the Memory of Slavery, the Al Thani Collection, a present store and places of work.
Moma Group plans to open a second restaurant on web site referred to as Mimosa and headed by award-winning chef Jean-François Piège, along with a high-quality meals retailer, which can promote bottles from Lapérouse’s wine cellar and luxurious objects like foie gras, truffles and caviar. There can even be a separate chocolate and ice cream parlor.
Though de Castellane already had a hand in sprucing up the historic Lapérouse restaurant, she stated it was her first time designing a restaurant from scratch. “It’s an exception,” she stated, explaining that she took on the aspect venture at Arnault’s request. “I thought it was a fun challenge.”
For the décor, she mixed parts of the unique restaurant, famed for its boudoir-like reception rooms frequented by artists, socialites and courtesans, and a seafaring spirit with touches of exotica, just like the bar totally adorned with shells within the wood-paneled Salon Orient.
Decked out in shades of pink, coral and deep crimson, it’s clad with panels of mahogany wooden and cordoba leather-based. Vintage Baccarat chandeliers and backgammon tables add to the 18th-century ambiance.
By distinction, the principle room, the Salon du Navigateur, incorporates a striped tented ceiling and a blue-and-white mural depicting a ship crusing towards a verdant isle. Furniture consists of shell-shaped blue velvet chairs with turned wooden legs, and rattan armchairs.
“I imagined it like a journey from a Parisian salon, or the interior of a boat, to the deck of the boat. You have Paris, and then you have the exoticism of the journey,” stated de Castellane.
For the terrace adjoining Place de la Concorde, she mixed Madeleine Castaing benches with conventional bistro chairs, and dotted the house with topiary bushes. The courtyard terrace featured pistachio-green steel furnishings and plush foliage, for a extra tropical ambiance.
De Castellane designed all of the floral materials for the interiors, in addition to the tableware and the packaging for the takeaway merchandise. “When I take on a project, I’m interested not just in the interior design — it’s a 360-degree approach,” she defined.
Next up for the designer is the discharge of her coffee-table e book, “Life in a French Country House: Entertaining for All Seasons,” attributable to be revealed by Rizzoli this fall. She hinted she can even have a hand within the design of the longer term restaurant on the renovated Dior headquarters on Avenue Montaigne, to be run by chef Jean Imbert.
Meanwhile, Moma simply tightened its hyperlinks with LVMH, partnering with the group on the opening of a Cipriani restaurant in Saint-Tropez. It’s one in all 11 openings this summer time, alongside Forest with chef Julien Sebbag on the Paris Museum of Modern Art, and Ma Cocotte on the Saint-Ouen flea market with Juan Arbelaez’s group Eleni.
Patou stated the big variety of simultaneous openings was because of the seven-month closure of eating places, as a part of authorities efforts to curb the unfold of COVID-19. Café Lapérouse was initially slated to open in July 2020, for instance.
“Things were 100 percent disrupted. It’s been a total shambles,” he stated of the challenges of the final 12 months. “It’s like the movies: everything is coming out at once.”
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