Thursday, 19 September 2019

Le Garage, Saint Jean de Luz


The bar.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

After dinner one night when we were on holiday in Saint Jean de Luz we were walking back to our appartment -- and discovered the really happening place in town, packed with locals and really buzzing.

Some of the food stands.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

It's called le Garage and it seems it has become a bit of an institution in the relatively few years it's been open. The premises is an old Renault garage from the 1950s, centrally located, and the concept is a central bar, pop-up food stands, a makeshift stage for live performances and a decor referencing the building's former life.

The menu at the burger stand -- the burgers contain steak, cheese, pancetta made from local pork, ox heart tomatoes, rocket, red onions and a secret homemade tomato sauce.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

It's only open for the summer months, every day from from 6.30pm to 2am, and to access the delicious local Basque food and drink available you buy a prepayment card or load an app called Fetakutx to your smart phone. You can load it with credit then use the card or phone to buy your drinks, snacks and meals. Neither the bar nor any of the food stands accept cash.

The decor reflects the building's past life.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

When the previous mechanics workshop closed in 2005 the building was going to be demolished. But somehow it never happened and in 2015 it was transformed into what you see today. For the locals it has the feel of a much loved concept, la guinguette, an informal semi-outdoor space for conviviality, dancing, drinking and relaxing with friends.

Empties on a barrel 'table'.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The night we were there they were raffling a car. This is where we saw the Thai rolled ice cream being made too.

You pay a one euro deposit for a glass and keep it all night.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The entrance to the toilets.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.


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4 comments:

Le Pré de la Forge said...

I'd be paying my deposit and keeping the "glass"...
love these reusable glasses... building up quite a selection...
AND, they are "tiled-floor-friendly"!

This is a lovely concept for a disused building....
and obviously a hub for the community as well as visitors...
I can now see why the ice-cream maker can survive...
it is a "special" treat in a niche environment.
Clever set-up all round.

Mine's the Brebis burger... pop it round later please!

Colin and Elizabeth said...

This is happening in the UK as well with all different types of building being similarly used. Looks a great place and I like the fact that its cash free. Is 13 euro pricey for a burger?

Susan said...

I agree. I'd be keeping the 'glass' too. It was really a great atmosphere. We were sorry we hadn't discovered it earlier (although we'd had a nice dinner in a restaurant with really good starters and desserts, main a bit ordinary). I've no doubt the brebis burgers were delicious, but it will have to be for next time we are down that way.

Susan said...

The 3 young guys who run the place are very proud of the cash free element. I think it's a great business model. €13 is probably premium price for a burger, but French burgers are usually delicious. This is not a chain!

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