By Nicolas Gosselin
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In January 2022, a associative bar baptized The Church opened at Bordeaux, with the utmost discretion. ” Where ? wonder the night owls, excited to have a new nest in which to feast until four in the morning. Unfortunately for them, the location of Eden is kept secret.
Each time a person writes on social networks to the managers of the establishment, he has the right to this answer: “Hi to you young apostle! You wish to find the liver at The Church. Unfortunately, we already have a great community and our places are limited. We have decided not to give out the address for a while. (…)”
A deliberately restricted community
The only solution to be able to find the night bar, installed at the end of an alley in the city center of Bordeaux, is to meet members of the Church who agree to share the secret. “It only works by word of mouth. We want to keep a peaceful environment with a limited community at the top of the top, ”explains Betty Chiariadia, the manager of the premises, with her companion Connor Outhit.
Basically, the two thirty-somethings opened L’Eglise with the world of catering in mind, which they know well. She ran the Pizz’Amore pizzeria Cours Victor Hugo; he worked in several Bordeaux bars including Connemara and HMS.
“We’re not too much of a nightclub, we’re more of a bar, but we had trouble finding open places to have a drink after our service. Especially on Sunday evening. And since we couldn’t find an associative bar that we really liked, we decided to open our own,” says Connor Outhit.
An immediate success
From the opening, L’Eglise was sold out. In the restaurant world (and not only), the news spread like wildfire. It must be said that the Gironde city is sorely lacking in night bars. So the demand is strong.
The first weeks, the managers agreed to communicate the address to the interested parties but quickly changed their minds when they saw their number of members explode (you have to pay a membership of 10 euros a year to access the place). “We have a capacity of only 55 people. The idea is not to have a queue in front of the door every evening”, justifies Betty Chiariadia, who wants to avoid nocturnal disturbances and other problems.
“We would like to change the image of the associative bar “déglingos” where you come to finish. We favor quality over quantity”, advocates the 32-year-old blonde. A creed which is illustrated on the menu with local Mascaret craft beers – sodas are also supplied by the brewer based in Blanquefort – and organic cider, as well as Bordeaux wine.
On Sunday, the pint is 4 euros
Inside, three rooms, three atmospheres: “paradise”, hosted on the mezzanine, with a lounge area and large sofas for quiet discussion; the main room at the entrance where the main bar stands and where works by local artists are exhibited: and, finally, “hell” in the basement, which houses the dance floor which moves to the rhythm of the DJ.
Depending on the day of the week, the community bar offers different evenings. Concert, open mic, comedy club or all kinds of shows on Thursdays (except July-August). Every Friday, electro evening with 6 Feet Under as a resident DJ. On Saturdays, a different DJ from one week to the next collects the turntables and prints his musical style. Finally, every Sunday, it’s “the bartender’s mass” with a pint of lager for 4 euros.
And if the managers of the Church do not proselytize to swell the ranks of what they call “the place of worship of the Bordeaux night based on the religion of sound”, know all the same that they continue to accept new practitioners… On the condition of finding the door to Eden!
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