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Franck, who are you? What did you do before the Cravan?
After studying history I worked in a contemporary art gallery for ten years. I then joined the team at the Chateaubriand restaurant, where I was one of the partners.
Tell us all about it. Why choose this location, in the 16th arrondissement?
Cravan, which opened in June, aims to redefine the cocktail bar by pushing the limits of the existing model. We are open all day, from 8am. We serve coffee, cocktails and food. The common theme is that we always insist on the highest quality, whether it be in the way we do things or in product sourcing.
How have you made the space yours?
Cravan has been a café-bar since 1911, as our sign shows. It was built by Hector Guimard, the leading light of Art Nouveau design. Today it is a listed building.
Here we serve coffee, cocktails and food. The common theme is that we always insist on the highest quality, whether it be in the way we do things or in product sourcing.
Who supported you in this new venture?
My associate Youssef Louanjli, barista and founder of Fragments.
Why did you choose to specialise in cocktails?
I organised the first cocktail-pairings as long ago as 2012. I ran events called ‘In Good Company‘, where I invited internationally-renowned bartenders to enter into conversation with the cuisine of our restaurant Le Dauphin. I have just finished writing a book which comes out next February in the USA. Its title is “French Modern Cocktails from the 1920s & 1930s“. It will be published in English by Rizzoli. It’s a sort of “cultural snapshot” of Paris between the wars – the golden age of cocktails – and shows the importance of the cocktail in French society, as an integral part of that post-war euphoria.
Some suggestions for matching food with drinks?
On the bar food menu, the white asparagus from the Landes with Sicilian Tuna Bresaola is a perfect match to the Yellow Cocktail (Gin, Suze, yellow Chartreuse and lemon), just as the Mad Collins cocktail (Gin, Ginger) is to the Brittany clams in garlic butter.
Photography: Valerio Geraci – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily