In Montreuil, a bar-restaurant is looking for potential buyers

With her smiling and warm presence, Isa Debril, the owner of the bar-restaurant L’Aqueduc, helps to create the enveloping atmosphere of these establishments in which it is good to share a drink or simply exchange a few words. A sort of reassuring oasis where you can lean on the counter during the frosty winter weather and where time stretches out on the terrace on sunny days.

For the past five years, she has run the bar, managed the restaurant, sold gas cylinders and repaired packets of cigarettes. In this shop in the town center, people also come to pick up The Journal of the Center or his fishing license.

Associated for two years with Karine Robert, with whom she took over the bar-restaurant in 2017, Isa Debril now manages the establishment alone in winter, for the third consecutive year. Her husband, with whom she worked for ten years in catering in the Ardèche, is a lumberjack, but a trained cook. So he comes to lend him a hand when the tourists flock. Just like her son, who also became a cook, although she tried to dissuade him.
For the past few weeks, shaken by the disappearance of at least two of his relatives, Isa Debril has decided to put the business of the bar-restaurant L’Aqueduc up for sale. Not out of weariness of the environment: she remains very attached to Montreuil and its inhabitants. She is also in the process of buying a house there, she who has been a tenant for thirteen years.

A great sense of service

But she wants, she admits with a smile, “to find a semblance of life, like everyone else”. The days start at 8 am, the evenings end when the last customers have left. Between the two, a lunch break is inserted in a variable way. In season, there are only Sunday evenings and Mondays left to breathe.

However, Isa Debril’s sense of service remains intact: during confinement, she insisted on selling newspapers and gas, and offering coffee and take-out meals. “The customers played the game, I sold ten to twenty-five a day,” she says. “It makes me optimistic for the future of this central place in the village even if, for the moment, I have not yet received any applications. The manager says she is ready to accompany the buyers in all their steps: meeting customers, list of suppliers and various advice. It lists the investments in equipment made: professional hood, benches, fryer, plancha, coffee machine, refrigerators, etc.

The paintings, recently redone, are impeccable. Bright and soberly decorated, the dining room has eighteen to twenty-two seats, the double on the terrace. The low rent is an undeniable asset. “In summer, groups of hikers stop for lunch, taking over from the fishermen. I have an a la carte menu. In winter, I cook daily specials, and I organize themed evenings. You have to stay creative, maintain the link, ”explains Isa Debril. Following the recent disappearance of a local figure, she set up a kitty at the bar to give a financial boost to the family of the deceased.
“It is out of the question to leave my regulars without a bar-restaurant, I will ensure continuity of service until there are buyers and even if it is necessary to wait for the end of the lease”, affirms Isa Debril.

” I am not worried “

What does she imagine herself doing next? “I’m not worried, I’ll find out, I’ve always been multitasking! she replies with a smile. The end of the morning is approaching, more and more customers are entering the establishment. It’s time to lay the cover. Through the window of the dining room, a spring sun makes it possible to envisage a very promising tourist season.

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