Drouant, from a bistro to a restaurant

Drouant Restaurant is today a prestigious Parisian establishment.

In 1880, Charles Drouant, a native from Alsace in Eastern France came to Paris and opened a traditional bar-tabac near La Bourse (Paris historical Stock Exchange).

Drouant Restaurant on Place Gaillon
Drouant Restaurant on Place Gaillon

The district was then in full expansion and attracted wealthy clients with the nearby Opera and banks and insurance companies on Boulevard Haussmann.

A born entrepreneur, Charles started to propose oysters platters to his clients.

He soon upgraded his bar-tabac into a bistro, and his brother in law, an oyster farmer from Brittany, supplied him every week with fresh seafood and fish.

The success was immediate!

Drouant’s bistro was one of the key addresses of Paris, renowned for its seafood and fish.

It also attracted artists and celebrities of the art, literary and political world.

This included Renoir, Rodin, Pissaro, Monet, Octave Mirbeau, the Rosny brothers, Paul Neveu, Paul and Georges Clemenceau, Edmond de Goncourt to name a few.

Charles upgraded then his bistro into a restaurant.

At the dawn of WWI he sent Jean, one of his four sons, to train in the most prestigious establishments in England, Germany and even America.

Prix Goncourt and Renaudot

Jean Drouant took over the business in 1914 and took it to new heights when the jury of the Prix Goncourt moved in his restaurant to deliberate and award their prize.

Drouant Restaurant on Place Gaillon
Drouant Restaurant on Place Gaillon

This was the first of a long series.

The jury members meet there every first Tuesday of the month, in the first floor dining-room, Salon Goncourt, in order to discuss the literary news.

This alliance marked the consecration of the Restaurant Drouant.

The establishment not only attracted the literary and artistic circles, but also the world of finance and business!

The icing on the cake was in 1926, when writers awaiting the deliberations of the Prix Goncourt founded the Prix Renaudot.

The lucky jury members of the two literary prizes have their place secured for life at Drouant’s!

Drouant, a 3* Michelin restaurant

Jean Drouant also merged the restaurant with the Barayat Group, owned by his sister’s husband.

The group already owned Le Fouquet’s, Pré Catalan, Casino d’Ermenonville, Café de Paris, Pavillon Royal and the catering license for the Hippodrome d’Auteuil!

From 1946 to 1976, Jean’s nephew, also named Jean Drouant, took over the direction of the prestigious establishment.

Robert Pascal, who entered at Drouant’s as a clerk, took over from Jean and worked there for over 40 years.

The Cible Group bought the restaurant in 1986 and renovated it before selling it in 1987 to the Elitair group; Elior group took over in 1988.

The restaurant was awarded a first, then a second Michelin star, with the Chef Louis Grondard.

Elior sold Drouant, but Louis Gondard remained in charge of the kitchen.

In January 2006, Antoine Westermann, a 3* Michelin chef at the restaurant Buerehiesel in Strasbourg, and related to the Drouant family by marriage, bought the restaurant Drouant.

Directions: 2nd District – 16-18 Place Gaillon
Metro: Quatre-Septembre on Line 3
Coordinates: Lat 48.868864 – Long 2.334450

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