The Soul of the place  

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You can't imagine the warmth of Alsace. But it has already pervaded you, you who crossed the cour des Petites Ecuries and pushed open the door of Brasserie Flo. In this area, close to the Gares du Nord and de l'Est, where since 1871, a train of beer barrels has arrived every day from Alsace, Alsatian brasseries are particularly numerous. But few can boast that they are as authentic as this former beer depot, purchased at the beginning of the 20th e century by the Alsatian Floederer.



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Immediately adorning the walls of the two sombre rooms of the establishment with a series of emblems from his native folklore, in their amber light he enrols a joyful host of brewer dwarves, a whimsical little people who survey the king of beer, Gambrinus, from afar, savouring his tankard right in front of the gilded grotesque people encrusted in the woodwork. Further along on imposing frescoes, strong castles, rivers, hills, lakes and forests stretch on, landscapes nostalgic of the Alsatian countryside...



Some decades later, when the cobbles of May '68 violently take to the skies, it's another Alsatian's turn to succumb to the charms of the place. In a country paralysed by strikes, General de Gaulle announces the dissolution of the Assemblée Nationale on the radio, one hour before Jean-Paul Bucher signs the purchase contract for the brasserie on the cour des Petites Écuries. One year later, the French version of the music-hall show "Hair" is a great success in the nearby Theatre de la Porte-Saint-Martin, and it is here that Julien Clerc and his company come to celebrate their first performances. Within one day, long queues to get in appear in front of the brasserie which is constantly full. The jubilant public, neighbouring actors, and the bourgeoisie who come to mix with the riff-raff in this pearl of a working-class area, Faubourg Saint-Denis, still squeeze into the welcoming seats of the hundred-year-old tavern today, to sample, over dinner, over an evening or over a beer, a taste of Alsace in Paris..

 

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