• From Wednesday, bars and restaurants will once again welcome customers, but only on the terrace.

  • In Lille, the town hall has decided to only grant a temporary terrace to restaurants, as was done last June.

  • For some bar owners, reopening under these conditions will not necessarily be profitable.

A place on the terrace at a high price. In the North, the impatience linked to the reopening of terraces is perhaps less strong than elsewhere, in particular because being served food or drink in a restaurant or bar has been possible for two weeks with our Belgian neighbors. However, in Lille, the expectation is still strong. Except that consumers risk being quickly confronted with an imbalance between supply and demand. Explanations.

The first factor that could disrupt the reopening of the terraces on Wednesday is the weather.

The North has entered a rain tunnel which, according to Météo-France, should last a few more days.

So of course, some establishments are equipped with blinds or umbrellas that can help you stay dry.

But this will not be the case for extensions of terraces or ephemeral terraces for which professionals will not be able to install protection that does not comply with the "specifications for the regulation of commercial rights-of-way".

The particular and complex case of Vieux-Lille

Then there are the rules for occupying public space which effectively curb many attempts to extend terraces. There is in particular this logic 1.40 m to leave free on the sidewalks to allow the passage of people with reduced mobility. In a number of streets, particularly in Old Lille, it will therefore be impossible to add tables. This is the case, for example, with the Point central, rue de la Clé. “We stay with the usual configuration of a single row of tables, but at 50% of the capacity,” explains an employee.

On the Place Louise-de-Bettignies, recently renovated and whose pedestrian areas have been greatly enlarged, several restaurateurs have taken a cold shower.

"The town hall told us that there was no question of installing tables on the sidewalks," said a restaurant manager, adding, resigned, "we will have to wait until June 9 to reopen suddenly".

Three establishments are concerned, the Broc, La Clique and formerly at Guiseppe.

"They knew it, it is not a surprise and it concerns three places on which one does not want a terrace to avoid the escape of the businesses other than the bars and the restaurants", insists Jacques Richir, deputy mayor of Lille.

More than 200 requests for ephemeral terraces

As last June, the city decided to grant extensions of terraces only to restaurateurs. A measure assumed: "The reopening of the terraces must be done at half-gauge, in a seated position exclusively, without exceeding 6 people per table", explains Jacques Richir. "These conditions are difficult to respect for bars and the experience of last year has shown it well," he says. Establishments that already have large terraces will be able to compose, others less. "We usually have 9 tables that will have to be reduced to 6. It will probably not be profitable but we still have to open on Wednesday, for the teams and for the customers", recognizes an employee of Queen Victoria, place Sébastopol . According to the town hall, 200 requests for ephemeral terraces were studied:"Only quarantine has been refused, mainly for topographical reasons," said the deputy mayor.

There is always the possibility, for establishments whose terrace has less than 10 tables, to keep a 100% gauge, subject to installing "a separation aimed at preventing projections between the tables, for example by means of a wall, a panel, a screen, a planter, at the height of the seated person ”, provides for the reopening protocol.

An option chosen, for example, by the bar La Biche et le renard, rue de Gand.

Not sure, however, that this is enough to accommodate everyone.

The Belgian option thus retains all its meaning, in particular in Tournai where the mayor, Paul-Olivier Delannois, grants extensions of terraces without distinction to bars and restaurants.


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