In Narbonne, the move of the largest restaurant in the city creates a stir

Louis Privat, founder of the Grands Buffets, the largest restaurant in the city of Narbonne (Aude), is overwhelmed. ” The death in the soul “, he decided to move and establish his establishment in “a less hostile agglomeration”. To justify this decision, the boss evokes “a sum of malicious acts and immobility” du Grand Narbonne, community owner of the Espace de Liberté, in which it has been established for thirty-three years.

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“I was refused my request to expand the staff dining room”, declares Mr. Privat to the World. “And my project for a hotel 500 meters from the restaurant remained unanswered”, he adds. However, it is the desire to renegotiate the lease (in connection with the turnover of the restaurant), expiring at the end of 2022, which sets fire to the powder. “There is a discrepancy between the rental value and the rent paid by Les Grands Buffets, which is 220,000 euros per year. However, the restaurant achieves between 13 million and 14 million euros in turnover”, justifies Me Bernard Vial, council of the urban community chaired since 2020 by Didier Mouly (various right) and mayor of the Audoise sub-prefecture since 2014. “Les Grands Buffets have benefited from an attractive and inexpensive rent, but Grand Narbonne must preserve public finances, by applying the same rule for all”, specifies the council, which adds, to try to calm the spirits, that the community is “open to discussion”.

“A tourist attraction”

Because this decision, announced in the middle of summer, had the effect of a bomb. The company is successful with its all-you-can-eat formula for less than 50 euros. It employs 200 people and serves more than 360,000 customers a year, the vast majority of whom are tourists. “It’s an institution in Narbonne, a tourist attraction. We come to the department to go to the Grands Buffets. So much so that coach operators include it in their tourist circuit »welcomes Thierry Deniau, president of the Union of trades and industries of the hotel industry (Umih) of Aude. “This decision is damaging. The sector will suffer”he regrets.

In addition to Béziers and Perpignan, which are courting the leader of the Grands Buffets, Sète, Nîmes and Carcassonne have positioned themselves

This case has made the political world react. Frédéric Falcon, the deputy of the National Rally, elected in June, poses as a mediator, inviting the two parties to renew the dialogue. A wish that has remained in vain until now. “I will reiterate my request in September. You can’t see a company like that packing up. It is absolutely necessary to react, because Narbonne, a city of more than 50,000 inhabitants, is threatened by Béziers [Hérault] and Perpignan [Pyrénées-Orientales]two cities that are doing everything to attract big business »worries Mr. Falcon.

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