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'Le Clemenceau' is, without doubt, one of the most convivial cafe-bar-brasseries in Roanne, Roannais.
As in all of the larger French towns, and Roanne is no exception, they have their fair share of bars and bistros – favourite places to meet up with friends for morning coffee, or relax with an ice-cold beer on a sultry summer's afternoon.
One such place that Purefrancenow has discovered, and that we frequent more than any other is 'Le Brasserie Clemenceau.
Set in a prime position right in the heart of the Place Georges Clemenceau.
This attractive square is is one of Roanne's most impressive, flanked on one side by the church St.Etienne, and on the other, by the ancient Roanne Chateau, and an amazing 'trompe l'oeil' wall mural reflecting its rich, historical past.
There are also a couple of contemporary designed water features with dramatic fountains, which contrast with the surrounding medieval buildings.
'Le Clemenceau' is a great place for lunch, and good value, too! They do a 'plat du jour' for 6.95€ which changes daily. Within this, you can choose from a selection of desserts, and downed with a glass of chilled rosé or 'biére préssion'. They are open 7 days out of 7, too! Good business approach!!
The atmosphere is extremely friendly and relaxed, which, of course, partly explains its popularity with local business men and women, as well as shoppers, tourists, and families (particularly during the week-end).
We originally visited about 18 months ago, shortly after the owners, Francis Kuchenbuch and his long-term friend and business partner, Jean-Louis Clot, had collaborated to develop a new bar-brasserie in Roanne, after knowing each other for over 32 years (having originally met in the French military, whilst doing their national service stationed in Germany). They opened 'Le Clemenceau in February, 2007.
They work well together, and between them they have created a modern, stylish, successful formula.
The interior is bright and welcoming with plenty of comfortable seating, with a semi-sports bar 'feel', including large screen TV, pool table to the rear.
Outside, the contemporary, dark metal tables and chairs with bright red cusions and parasols defines and advertises the brasserie's presence along the pedestrian walk-way, making it almost irresistible not to stop for a coffee, or more!
All of the staff area very friendly, and Francis, in particular, likes to practice his 'good' English on you whenever he gets the chance! (no matter how hard you try to practice your French!)
Francis's wife, Armelle, is the 'chef de cuisine', and produces some great dishes! Armelle is also fluent in English.(They spent 12 years in Florida, running bars, clubs, and restaurants together).
So, all in all, 'Le Clemenceau' is a place that has to be visited when you are in Roanne. You are guaranteed a very convivial welcome!