Café Compagnon, an Venue <br>For all Occasions

Café Compagnon, an Venue
For all Occasions

He’s done it! Charles Compagnon, who already owns 52 and Richer, is opening his third establishment this autumn: the aptly named Café Compagnon. This is a project for a restaurant-café and more, which he was already talking about during our last family meeting at his home in Courances. Located on the edge of the Sentier, this venue, “defined by its space and its neighbourhood”, can boast a capacity of up to 100 diners, making it one of the few in the business to be open for reservations. This is an opportunity to discover, from 8am to midnight, a demanding menu co-constructed with chef Geoffrey Lengagne, designed to “satisfy the multiple needs of our lives”. This includes morning coffee – home-roasted, if you please – business lunches, dinners with friends and weekend brunches. These are all opportunities to dine in a “less brutalist and more elaborate” décor created by designer Gesa Hansen, who drew her inspiration for the colour palette from the vines her husband had acquired. The result is “a quiet place, with real materials and warm minimalism” with hues ranging from burgundy to terracotta. The organic colour scheme is enhanced by a blend of materials – mostly solid wood, marble and fabrics – and textures, also influenced by the work of the Parisian’s grandfather, Carlos Ferreira de la Torre. His legacy can be admired through the few figures that adorn the walls of a young establishment that already has the makings of something great.

Café Compagnon, 22-26 rue Leopold Bellan – 75002 Paris. Open 7 days a week, 8am-midnight. Reserve on www.cafecompagnon.com.

Charles Compagnon devant son café-restaurant Café Compagnon à Paris
Le sol du café-restaurant
Salle de service du café-restaurant Café Compagnon à Paris
Bar en bois chez Café Compagnon à Paris
Tables en bois et comptoir chez Café Compagnon à Paris

Charles, we’re finally finding out about this restaurant-café project that you were talking about when we last met! Can you introduce us to Café Compagnon?

Charles

Café Compagnon is, above all, a varied place. It’s both a morning coffee shop for breakfast and a grocery shop where you can buy coffee beans or a bottle of wine from our estate — and, soon, chocolate! Of course, above all it’s a high-quality restaurant with a chef, Geoffrey Lengagne, who has spent time at Per Se in New York and Sketch in London. We serve both classic and bistronomic cuisine, but we also have an extensive wine list with more than 200 bottles. In the afternoon, it becomes a café where you can have a home-made pastry with excellent drinks. In the evening, a spot for tapas. Accompanied by a cocktail or a nice bottle of wine!

How did this new project come about?

Charles

I visited this restaurant three years ago, but the layout wasn’t right. So I didn’t take it. Other people did, and got permission to remove load-bearing walls and partitions. In the end, they didn’t want to complete their project, and I was able to take over the premises with a view to doing some work on them. It was fate; it was made for me!

What distinguishes this place from your two other premises and, most importantly, what does it enable you to do?

Charles

Above all, I think it’s the space and the neighbourhood that define a place. At Café Compagnon, we’re truly in the centre of Paris in the 2nd arrondissement. We have a terrace in a pedestrianised street. The restaurant is large, which enables us to take reservations — unlike my other two restaurants — and we have less brutalist, more elaborate décor. This place has also been designed to showcase our work with coffee and its roasting, as well as the wines from our vineyards. We have designed custom-made furnishings to showcase our work.

Gesa, you took care of all the décor. What was your client’s initial brief?

Gesa

A calm, soft place with authentic materials, a warm minimalism. So I worked with solid wood, red Alicante marble and fabrics that echo the colour!

Table en bois et banquette rouge chez
Banquette rouge et table en bois chez Café Compagnon
Café Compagnon, an Venue <br>For all Occasions

This place has been designed to showcase our work with coffee and its roasting, as well as the wines from our vineyards.

Etagère en bois avec bouteille de vin chez Café Compagnon à Paris
Chaise en bois chez
Tables et banquette rouge chez
  • What were your main inspirations for bringing the place and its furnishings to life?
Gesa

The biggest was the work of Carlos Ferreira della Torre, Charles’ grandfather, which I thought was beautiful. I love the idea of having traces of his work in the restaurant. I think we’re always influenced by the people in our family! For me, it’s always been the case with my grandfather and my parents.

Which craftspeople — or companies — did you work with to create them?

Gesa

Pierre Frey for the fabrics, wallpapers and banquettes. I designed the entrance curtain for them. Bianca Frey and Sofia de Moser Leitao for the ceramic sculptures. The other furnishings were custom-designed.

Why did you choose to work with this palette of colours and materials?

Gesa

As Charles had bought his vineyards, I wanted to work with claret and terracotta. These colours evoke red wine, and I tried as much as possible to work with textures such as red marble or fabrics. The rest of the architecture is defined by the white plaster of the walls and ceiling, and the wood, which serves as a frame.

Charles Compagnon dans son Café Compagnon à Paris
Salle de service avec banquette rouge au Café Compagnon Paris
Tables en bois chez
Statue en bois chez

I wanted to work with claret and terracotta. These colours evoke red wine, and I tried as much as possible to work with textures such as red marble or fabrics.

Banquette moutarde au Café Compagnon à Paris
Bar en bois chez Café Compagnon à Paris
Bar au Café Compagnon à Paris
  • Café Compagnon is open from 8am to midnight. How do you develop your menu throughout the day?
Charles

We have a breakfast menu with fresh juices, our granola, and pastries from Stohrer. And of couse our home-roasted coffees! The restaurant menu enables you to choose between tapas, small plates, and dishes to share. It’s easy to eat according to your mood! In the evening, you can come and drink cocktails and eat tapas, have a romantic dinner, or one with 15 friends.

  • With this range of hours, who is your place for?
Charles

Our place is intended to serve and satisfy the multiple needs of our lives: coffees with friends, business lunches, sunday brunches, dinners with friends, etc.

Where will we find you in the coming months?

Charles

At my three spots: Le Richer, 52 Faubourg Saint-Denis, and Café Compagnon!

Terrasse du Café Compagnon à Paris
Plats au Café Compagnon à Paris
Terrasse du Café Compagnon à Paris

Our place is intended to serve and satisfy the multiple needs of our lives: coffees with friends, business lunches, sunday brunches, etc.

Rideaux du Café Compagnon à Paris
Café Compagnon, an Venue <br>For all Occasions Café Compagnon, an Venue <br>For all Occasions

Deco inspiration...

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