Would you like to run a café in Paris?

Old May 25th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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Would you like to run a café in Paris?

Oh, those charming neighborhood places, such a wonderful discovery for people who explore the city! The fantasy of all of the things that you could possibly do in such a place is infinite. It really isn't all that expensive to take over one, to hire some staff... all you need are some good ideas. Or maybe a bit more?

Yes, I was involved in such an operation once. Would you like to know what happened?

Read it and weep: http://tinyurl.com/phfmwl
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Old May 25th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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What a bummer. I'm surprised that a few square meters of acoustic drywall DiY wouldn't solve the upstairs lady's problem.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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gee keruac, I'd like to, will you invest?
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Old May 25th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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I'm hooked. Great story!

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Old May 25th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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I can't wait to read the end of the story! Is it almost finished?
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Old May 25th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Interesting so far, looking forward for the rest of the story.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 05:03 PM
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Considering the failure rate of new restaurants - which I assume is the same in France as in the US - no. Unless you're very experienced at running this type of business it;s like throwing money out a window.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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I finally finished the story for those interested.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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Why do I get that "doomed" feeling here kerouac? Loving the story, keep going.

Schnauzer
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Old May 26th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Thank you for sharing your story - its wonderful and sad...but what an experience!

Cheers,
Naxos
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Old May 26th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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what an adventure! Is there a photo of you in the cafe
that you can share?
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Old May 26th, 2009, 12:00 PM
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Great story. Thanks for sharing it!
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Old May 26th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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Finished your story; fascinating, but sad. It makes me even more convinced that the vow I made to myself years ago was a wise one. I worked in restaurants, hotels, and resorts all the way through school. After seeing how vile people could be to those in the service industry, I made a solemn, holy, vow to NEVER work in a job that put me between the public and their stomachs and/or beds.

Your venture seems bittersweet, however, in that you were building something that seemed worthwhile to the community. Would you ever consider starting something similar again?

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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:54 AM
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I am always in favor of a new adventure, but I don't think I would throw myself in so spontaneously again. But you never know how things can evolve unexpectedly, which is also one of the attractions over a humdrum existence (like my office job!).
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:07 AM
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It was fun living your story vicariously. It's the type of thing I would do if I had more courage and were younger. Despite the difficulties, I'll bet it was a blast. Are you happy you took the plunge in retrospect?
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:43 AM
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Just read and enjoyed the whole saga, even the comments. The new place is lovely but the original had a warmer feel, at least to me.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 04:50 AM
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I'm glad you posted this story, very interesting. I remember you alluding to this at some point in the past, and posting a link to the website. Wish I had known about it at the time; I would have liked to go there.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:36 AM
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Courage isn't the 'C' word you needed (since you had that aplenty), it was capital. But it sounds like you already realize this.

Except when you talk about the overhead tenant. I appreciate the two of you didn't get along, but it was your business plan, not her attitude, that failed. She may have been less than diplomatic, but she was also a member of the community, and having needs that conflicted with yours doesn't negate this.

She actually exploited you less than those adorable slam and pictorial artists who never lost sight of the reality that space and websites cost money, and thus were quick to take you up on your kind offer to subsidize them as they established their OWN businesses on your dime, or should that be, euro. Which is all very well, but what about your own business? As you say, you could have applied for a government subsidy, which in effect would have transferred their costs to the taxpayer instead of to you. But the overall flaw would have been the same: the model wasn't paying for itself.

It's significant that the French immigrant baker who owns a very successful pastry-coffee shop a few blocks from where I live has barely enough room in his establishment to swing a cat, much less stage neighbourhood happenings. He has a few tiny tables, which helps remind the customer base to be considerate of both his needs and those of their fellow customer - and not hog the tables. Hard to encourage this if you're providing entertainment.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 06:34 AM
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What infuriated everybody about the woman living above the café was that if you aspire to peace and quiet, you do not buy an apartment on top of a café at a busy intersection.

There are tons of quiet streets in Paris.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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kerouac,

Thank you for finishing the story. Running a cafe is one of the hardest thing I have ever done. I understand what you guys went through. At least it had a happy ending...kind of.
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