Located on Paris’ Grands Boulevards, Grand Cafe Capucines – founded in 1875 – was one of the most legendary brasseries of the 19th century. That same year, the Palais Garnier (Opera Garnier) and the Olympia Hall for concerts were inaugurated, and Grand Cafe Capucines was the perfect dining destination after a musical performance or a ballet.
Charged with reinventing the restaurant in 2016, the duo behind Paris-based interior and furniture design company Toro & Liautard preserved the establishment’s old spirit and added modern touches such as mosaics, the golden brass adorning the columns, and textiles as well as lighting, all designed by Hugo Toro and Maxime Liautard.
They created four spaces, each with a unique atmosphere. On the ground floor, where the light from the sculptural ceiling unites the various areas, a large main dining room pays tribute to the glamorous aesthetic of historic brasseries. It’s here that diners can savour classic French dishes at any time of the day or night.
Dressed with plants and filled with natural light, thanks to the glass ceiling and wall that provide a view of the boulevard while protecting guests from the hustle and bustle of the city, the winter garden is a refuge for diners wanting to still observe the goings on outside.
Furnished with stools, the American bar was introduced during the renovation and is now the ideal corner for a cocktail. On the upper level, the Indian Lounge offers a more intimate ambience with its 400 mini light bulbs, and green velvet seating and decorative silk elements.
Toro and Liautard wanted to keep the visual codes from the past in a contemporary space. To achieve that, they did some research and drew inspiration from the restaurant’s location near theatres and cinemas.
References to its history, especially the link to the Lumiere brothers, Auguste and Louis, who were among the first filmmakers in history, were particularly important. In fact, Grand Cafe Capucines’ Indian Salon was the first place the brothers projected a short film and had people pay to watch it.
“We didn’t try to do something new. Instead, we strove to design a space that corresponds to the soul of this place”, say Toro and Liautard.
For more information on Grand Cafe Capucines, visit www.legrandcafe.com.
Written by Karine Monie. Photos by Leny Guetta.