95 of the 500 checks carried out by the police gave rise to “findings of violations in bars and restaurants”, according to Jean Castex.
It’s a bit “open up and do whatever you can”, testifies, bored, Thierry Senaud, manager of a brasserie in Paris. A week after the announcement of the closure of bars in the capital, Parisians continue to drink, taking advantage of the vagueness of the measures. On the eve of the speech of Emmanuel Macron who could, Wednesday evening, announce a new turn of the sanitary screw, the great confusion remains.
Paris and its inner suburbs went into “maximum alert zone” on October 5, with the key to a decree which provides for the closure of establishments which “have as their main activity the sale of alcoholic beverages”. But the Paris police headquarters specifies on its website that other establishments remaining open “can serve drinks outside of meals”.
Bars without a seat or kitchen have therefore closed completely, having had to close at 10 p.m. the previous week. But most of the breweries and restaurants remained open, although they often serve more drinks than meals.
103 establishments fined
“The idea (of the government) is to close the night bars”, places where the contamination of the virus is more rapid, explains Franck Delvau, president of Paris Île-de-France of the Union des métiers et des hospitality industries (UMIH).
From October 5 to 9, the prefecture fined 103 establishments in Paris and closed ten bars. “Something is wrong” when this weekend again in Paris and in the inner suburbs, 95 of the 500 checks carried out by the police gave rise to “findings of offenses in bars and restaurants”, Prime Minister Jean Castex ruled on Monday.
The profession denounces, it, a great vagueness. Like Nasser Safer, manager of the Renaissance bistro, near Porte Saint-Denis, who claims to have initially refused to serve a drink – coffee or alcohol – without a meal, before allowing himself after a few days to serve only drink . “I didn’t understand,” he says. From now on, “yes for a drink [le soir]. But I avoid groups of young people, it attracts controls, “he adds.
“We discuss with colleagues, but we all have different sounds of bell”, laments Thierry Senaud, 52, manager of the Parvis, in the 4th arrondissement. “Even the unions were not aware of anything. We never had concrete examples, simple guidelines on what should be put in place,” he criticizes. Some even think that they are no longer allowed to serve only drinks after 10 p.m. When in doubt, they impose a meal to accompany an alcoholic drink.
This is the case of Hugues Rabbia, 47, one of the managers of the Paris Beaubourg bar-restaurant, who asks to consume “one dish per person (…) and not just a plate of fries considered only as a accompaniment “. A few meters away, Jean Selva, 58, manager of the Alchemist, asks less: “A plate of fries, a pancake are dishes, that’s enough to order alcohol on the side”, judge- he.
Franck Delvau regrets this confusion: just after October 5, “the police said that we were not allowed to serve coffee (…) Nothing was clear in the government announcements and in the decree of Prefecture”. Today, from what he understands, establishments that can remain open “must be able to justify a cuisine and a restaurant menu”. They must also space their tables, take the contact details of their customers and offer hydroalcoholic gel on all tables.
However, the new restrictions envisaged, including one possible curfew which would lead to the closing of establishments in the evening, feed the deep concern of the profession which no longer dares to project itself. “There are upheavals every week. You never know how to react: should we close, open, buy products, store them?” Asks Mostafa Boulguiz, 31, co-manager of Marguerite Charlie, coffee shop. in Saint-Denis. He plans to open his kitchen in the evening, in addition to a lunch service, but prefers to postpone this project. “It’s too risky. If we buy stocks of food to open in the evenings and eventually have to close, we’ll lose everything.”