The changes to the wine bar promised back in August are starting to come to fruition. A handsome new bar made from varnished wine crates has been installed up front, and last week an impressive piece of machinery materialised on its far left corner. Said machine looks capable of dispensing serious caffeinated beverages. I am very excited. The other offerings in town are, well, no Starbucks.
Saturday morning I stopped by for an inaugural cappuccino. R. the barman was manning the shop.
“I see you have a new toy,” I said, gesturing to the chrome beauty.
“Hrmphh,” he grunted, rolling his eyes in the direction of the beast. “I don’t agree with that AT ALL,” he went on as if we were discussing stem cell research or new taxes.
My heart sank a little bit. I could see where this was going.
“Do you know how to use it?” I asked cheerily.
“I am leaving that to the girls,” he responded, referring to T. and the two Es, none of whom were on duty. “Can I get you something else?” he asked earnestly, as if I might consider a glass of Gamay at 10:00AM.
I got the impression he wanted me to stay for a chat, although obviously not enough to learn how to use the coffee machine. In its new configuration the bar does remind me just a little bit of Bar Le Louis IX , where we used to go for café crème and croissants after a jog around the Île Saint- Louis. Despite the croissants we always felt like conspicuous health freaks compared to the jumpsuited municipal workers capping their breakfast with a marc. I’ll skip the drink but stay for a chat. We have a whole presidential election to dissect.