The Reopening of Bars and Restaurants in France

Lunch at Le Voltaire in Paris

Today is the official reopening of bars and restaurants all across France. It’s a day most people have been waiting three months for. It’s also a major step in getting back to normal, regular life (although I must admit, last week in Paris felt pretty close to normal).

The Return of the Terrasse

I fell right back into my café routine. Last week I think there was a mixture of more people feeling comfortable venturing out and people returning from the countryside. The the city filled right back up – terrasses, traffic, and all.

Cafés and restaurants did a great job adapting and expanding to accommodate as many people as possible. Terrasses overflow into parking spaces and further down sidewalks. Walking around and seeing the creativity is really fun. Places that normally don’t have terrasses, like Ladurée Bonaparte even created outdoor seating areas. I hope some of these temporary terrasses will become permanent.

Ladurée Bonaparte's new temporary terrasse
Reopening of bars and restaurants in France
Temporary terrasse in front of Hotel du Louvre
Reopening of bars and restaurants in France

I can’t say I’m dying to sit inside somewhere and have a drink or a meal quite yet. However, if this step in the déconfinement goes like all of the others, I’m sure I’ll come around by next week. While I’ve done a lot of cooking over the past three months, there are definitely more than a few dishes that I haven’t been able to successfully recreate.

Next Steps for Travel

The reopening of restaurants and bars in France is also joined by the reopening of 31 métro stations in Paris, quite a few hotels, and borders to other European countries. Normally, I’d be absolutely itching to travel by now. I’d probably be on the first plane anywhere, but it just doesn’t feel right yet. I’m still trying to figure out how to dodge unmasked people walking around Paris.

Le Voltaire lunch

Things will probably feel a bit uncomfortable for a while. Restaurants and bars reopening is an important step in learning to live with the virus. But Paris is starting to feel like Paris again. It’s invigorating watching the city come back to life. Still, I’m sure there’ll be a time when I’m nostalgic for the emptiness again.

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