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February 2022

Le Rèpublique

  • A restaurant for everyone
  • This Marseille brasserie welcomes the working poor. A million miles from the classic soup kitchen, it offers excellent meals in a spirit of sharing and sympathy.
Le chef Sébastien Richard œuvre avec ses équipes au restaurant.
Grâce au mécénat de Rudy Ricciotti et au travail de Jonathan Cacchia et Florentin Godeau, l’ancien Café parisien s’est refait une beauté.

Good food for everyone is the byword of this new restaurant replacing the Café Parisien on Place Sadi-Carnot. Le République is special: it offers meals at €1 for the working poor and gastronomic set menus at €25 and €30 for other diners. “A lot of working people are still living in poverty. The idea is that a meal in a restaurant, enjoying the same food and service as the other customers, will restore their sense of dignity,” says Sébastien Richard, the project’s founder. This generous chef prepared meals for hospital staff and the poor during the first lockdown; the idea of a community restaurant soon followed.

Other chefs like Alexandre Mazzi and Glenn Viel have joined in, designing menus with dishes based on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Architect Rudi Ricciotti refurbished the iconic café for free, keeping the mock-Renaissance style of the interior. The project is funded by the restaurant’s revenues, sponsorship, donations and subscriptions to the non-profit La Petite Lili. Businesses and the public sector have chipped in. Some of the tables are earmarked for people in need, sent by sponsoring businesses, non-profits and partner organisations. With 250 seats indoors and out, Le République also creates jobs and helps to integrate people into working life. And it has a back room where unsold meals are packed for distribution to the homeless. Now it’s your turn to support the restaurant: go for a meal or book the whole place for an event.

1 place Sadi-Carnot - 13002 Marseille - Tél. 06 18 53 86 45

By Mathilde Hingray