By Flavien Gagnepain
In the French capital, several typical pubs exist. But for the regulars, there is a simple question that needs to be answered: will they remain open for Christmas? We asked it to two pubs in the center of Paris.
The Parisian neighborhood of Saint-Michel is known for the Notre Dame Cathedral, there little streets with food to take away, but also for its pubs. And not French pubs which try to be a real pub with an English name on the façade. We talk about real pubs, run by anglophone bosses.
The Great Canadian pub, on the quays of the Seine, broadcast the football game between France and Morocco. Before everyone is coming, the master of the house, Kush, takes a few minutes to explain what he does for Christmas: “There not a lot of people, so we close on the 24th. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t do anything inside”, he laughs.
Kush explains: “All the people who work here are students, and they come from all over the world. So, for Christmas, we do a giant meal together.” Kush’s colleagues come from Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Sweden, the United States… “Everyone comes with a typical dish from their country, and we share a great time together.” And for the 2022 Christmas, the occasion is way more special after two Christmas parties canceled because of Covid: “The last two years, I was not allowed to organize meals, even if we closed. This year, the party is back and I love it”, he smiles.
The next day, on the 25th of December, the doors will be open from 6pm: “We have a lot of firms who have booked for Christmas parties, and it will be the case until ne New Year party.”
On Nevers Street, a few meters far away from The Great Canadian Pub, three young people run “The Highlander”, a Scottish pub that promotes a delicious cider. Behind the bar, Ida eats her meal before welcoming dozens of French supporters for the game. Even if it’s the 14th of December, talking about Christmas is not a topic for her: “For sure we’ll be open! Like 365 days per year, the pub will stay open until 5 am in the morning. It is a great occasion for Scottish students who live in Paris and who can’t afford to go back to Scotland to share a moment with us.”
Ida works with two colleagues, Ira et Bea. The first one comes from Glasgow, and lucky him, he will go back to Scotland to celebrate Christmas with his family: “I couldn’t do it the two previous years because of Covid and the variants. So, this time, I cannot miss it!” Same thing for Bea, who will fly to Sweden in one week: “Lucky bastards!”, laugh Ida, who will stay in France to work during the Christmas period.