Bistro Bordeaux to close after 7 years in Evanston
April 13, 2017
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Local French restaurant Bistro Bordeaux will close its doors Sunday after seven years of business, owner Pascal Berthoumieux announced in a Facebook post.
The downtown Evanston restaurant, 618 Church St., sought to bring French culture and cuisine to the local community. In his statement, Berthoumieux said he wants to focus on new projects and spend more time with family.
“I have gained so much knowledge and experience, not to mention countless memories. I want to personally thank all our patrons, many of whom have turned into friends over the years,” he said in the statement. “I remain committed to this great city of Evanston and I urge everyone to support local, independently owned businesses where 100% of the money you spend gets reinvested in the community.”
Berthoumieux said he will spend the summer in France but looks forward to returning in the fall with new ideas for his other local businesses — Creperie Saint-Germain, 1512 Sherman Ave., and Patisserie Coralie, 600 Davis St.
Evanston’s economic development division manager Johanna Leonard said Berthoumieux had told the Economic Development Committee that he was thinking of “changing his ownership and composition of his holdings” to focus on Patisserie Coralie. She said Berthoumieux hopes to build a wholesale business off of the French cafe, and open another location at 633 Howard St.
Berthoumieux declined to comment.
According to city documents from January, Berthoumieux said he would lease the new Howard Street space “upon the sale of Bistro Bordeaux and/or Patisserie Coralie.”
“We have to remember that just because a business closes does not mean there was something failing about that business,” Leonard said.
Leonard said though she is confident a new business will replace Bistro Bordeaux, she is unsure exactly what will occupy the space.
Wilmette resident Diane Kennedy Welnhofer said she has been going to Bistro Bordeaux for more than five years with friends and family. Welnhofer said she and her husband often travel to France, and the restaurant in Evanston “brings back good memories” of her trips.
Welnhofer said one of her favorite dishes was Bistro Bordeaux’s roasted chicken. The restaurant’s menu features a farm-raised Amish chicken for two with seasonal market vegetables and chicken truffle jus.
“There isn’t really anything like (Berthoumieux’s) restaurant in Evanston; it was very comfortable,” Welnhofer said. “He had a really good staff — people were always attentive and professional — and that kind of service will be missed.”
Cassie Sham (Weinberg ’16), who worked as a hostess at Bistro Bordeaux for four months last year, said she found a home at the restaurant.
“While I was working there, I really became a part of a community beyond Northwestern,” she said. “I became friends and family with the wait staff, the chefs in the kitchen, the entire staff and management. It’s a sad loss for the Northwestern community.”