Work crews are having their way, respectfully, with the innards of the fabled Manhattan restaurant La Goulue. The brasserie, which has hosted everyone from actress Catherine Deneuve to rocker Bruce Springsteen, closed its doors last week and is being stripped bare of its mirrors, sconces and prized antiques. But if Jean Denoyer has his way, his beloved bistro will soon again be kicking as high as the can-can dancer that it is named for. "What I do comes from the heart. It's a lot of adversity, a lot of work, a lot of money, but we'd like to rebuild," said Denoyer, who co-owns the restaurant with Regis Marinier. So he is warehousing the entire interior until he can relocate it. La Goulue opened in 1972 and moved to its recent address in 1993. Now it's moving again because the landlord is rebuilding. "I was very depressed on the first move," Denoyer said. "On the second I'm just a little sad. It's a shame to dismantle a restaurant that's extremely successful." Thirty-six years ago Denoyer combed antique shops and flea markets to create his vision of a turn-of-the-19th century Parisian bistro on Manhattan's tony Upper East Side. The wall mirrors came from antique shops and Irish bars, the pine wood panels from American forests. The bronze and glass wall sconces, signed by the renowned French designer Louis Majorelle, were another antique store find. Denoyer vows to re-open in the same luxury neighborhood, despite sky-high rents. "Landlords here don't seem to know there's a recession. They need to start smelling the same coffee I'm smelling." La Goulue was named for Louise Weber, the dancer immortalized on Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's famous 1891 poster for the Moulin Rouge. She was called La Goulue, which means glutton, because she liked to down customers' drinks as she can-caned past their tables. The restaurant was a celebrity hangout. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had her own table back in the day. Denoyer expects little to change at the new site. The signature dish was, and will remain, the cheese souffle. "We're a classic, tasty, quality bistro. We did get the one star and that's all we want," he said of the Michelin honor awarded in 2006 and 2007. And even though Denoyer has launched some 24 restaurants, he admits: "My favorite was La Goulue." Sadly, the original La Goulue ended badly: alcoholic, destitute, and selling peanuts in the shadow of the nightclub that had been the scene of her triumph. Denoyer is sure the years will be kinder to her namesake. "The Americans haven't learned how to cook yet," the Paris native said. "But they certainly learned how to eat."
News categoriesAll News >
Amazon to launch first exclusive home line, and more of the latest
Karl Lagerfeld debuts limited-edition home collection
Windsor Smith develops social-enterprise furniture business
Highlights of events at NYDC's What's New, What's NextSpecial Events | 4:31Highlights of events at NYDC's...
Setting the Table with Chef Ryan HardySpecial Events | 3:54Setting the Table with Chef Ryan...
Architecture and Design Film FestivalPublic Design Show
TableArt Sale - 50% off select tabletop items!Sample Sale
Book Signing with John B. Murray hosted by Karen Elizabeth Marx of Hearst Design GroupStore/Showroom Event
Circa Lighting hosts Veranda book signing
SilverLining Inc celebrates at seasonal cocktail party
Art Salon at Sherle Wagner
Meet Sandow's Robot-Powered Designer Tool Ready to Disrupt the Home Industry
How Brad Ford Cultivated a Community of Modern Makers
BDDW’s Tyler Hays is the Uncle of the Maker Movement
Why the Home Industry's Retail Strategy Isn't Working
- In Print
- Tag Sale
Fall Design Week Featuring Gift & HomeAmericasMart Atlanta
Lights.com Home Lighting CollectionLights.com
Pennoyer Newman Modern & Industrial CollectionPennoyer Newman