The De Abreu chip shop remains open in an activity area of ​​Hem, in the North, during the confinement. - G. Durand / 20 Minutes

  • To our knowledge, a chip shop installed in an activity area in Hem remains the last open in the Lille metropolis during this period of confinement.
  • The manager fears a supply disruption on the part of her suppliers.

Keep the potato. This could be the motto of the De Abreu chip shop, which has been operating for twenty years in an activity area in Hem, in the North. As far as we know, this is the last itinerant “fries shack” still open in the Lille metropolis since the announcement of the government's containment measures.

But for Valérie De Abreu, business manager, "times are tough" in this anxiety-provoking period of coronavirus. Thursday noon, less than a dozen customers stopped to "eat a fries". Far from the crowds of yesteryear.

"We were passing on the ring road and we saw that it was open"

Two employees of a cleaning company however discovered this chip shop, by chance. “We were passing on the ring road and we saw that it was open. We didn't know each other, ”admits one of them at 20 Minutes . Hop, little hook to eat on the go! Gloved hands and mask on the nose, Valérie De Abreu activates herself in the company of Martin, her husband. "It is less practical to serve. It sticks a bit, ”she jokes.

Containment: 10 days without fries ... # General containment # containment day 9 # containment # CONFINEMENTDAY10 #nord #hautsdefrance #frites #friterie #pasdecalais

- Wan (@wan_drawing) March 26, 2020

Because if a few kilometers away, the Belgian chip shops have kept their storefront, the northern barracks have often lowered the curtain, for lack of customers or for fear of the coronavirus. "The fall in clientele was obvious from Wednesday of last week," said the manager.

In this area of ​​activity where a dozen businesses are usually teeming, almost all of them have closed their doors. The Mondial Relay brand with its noria of 600 to 800 trucks per day is idling. “Usually, some truckers stop on their lunch break. They constitute a regular clientele. Now we can hear the silence, ”laments Valérie De Abreu.

"I am not afraid of the epidemic"

Today, lovers of "cone of fries" are made up of a few regulars. “Last Friday, it felt like we were seeing people eating fries for the last time. It was weird ”

However, there is no question of giving up for the manager. “As long as take-out is authorized, I will remain open for lunch, even if the activity is no longer profitable. I am not afraid of the epidemic. Life still exists. I prefer to give people a little taste of pleasure rather than staying at home, ”she admits.

His only fear: that his suppliers do not follow. "I have to go and get supplies from one of them now." And as he himself supplies himself in Belgium, it is enough that the border also closes for goods to be stuck. For the moment, the potato is still circulating. The regional institution of the "fries barracks" is saved.


Food shops will have to close at 8 p.m. in Bas-Rhin


Three covered markets remain open, not the others in Toulouse

  • Containment
  • Coronavirus
  • Fries
  • Lille