When we left France last September, it was more than just a rumor that the Leran Bar would be closing. Nellie and Thierry had relocated to Leran from Paris (via a few other stops along the way), but apparently the lifestyle was a tad bit too tame for them. They had their eyes set on Narbonne, to the east, closer to the Mediterranean. For those of us who depended upon the Bar as our "local gathering place", the impending closure was not good news. Even though we all complained about the quality of the wine and the lack of food, we could sit outside and watch the world go by, discuss daily activities and renovation progress, and of course, politics.
So, when word filtered around that Marek and Shirley, who have a holiday home just around the corner from us, were in negotiations with Nellie and Thierry, we were encouraged. Marek's mother is French, his father is Polish, Shirley is British; and they were looking for a way to reside permanently in France. We met Marek's parents last summer when they were visiting---a most charming couple.
After what seemed like an eternity but was perhaps the "usual" for French business, a deal was finally struck, the glitches smoothed out, and the Bar finally opened on March 26. Faithful correspondent Alan Simmons rushed photos to me of the Grand Opening, but they were held up in cyberspace by Homeland Security until just the other day. We do want those of you contemplating a trip to Leran to rest easy, knowing that ringside seats will once again be available on Cours St. Jacques, where the wine being served is reportedly much better (at least as far as they can remember).
You'll recognize some of these folks from last summer's pics: Top photo (L - R): Billy, Alan, Marek (new owner), David, in "The Old Men's Corner"; 2nd photo: Marek (center), Eileen (right); 3rd photo: Marek greeting guests; 4th photo: inside the Bar.
Come join us when we're there this summer: June 15 - September 11. It's only just around the corner from 14 Rue du Four.