Monday, November 24, 2008

The Decline of the French Cafe

A zinc-topped bar and a coffee...
photo: Cafe Vaudeville by Malias, Creative Commons

What with all the cheerless news about the economy, the last thing anyone needs to read about is the decline of yet another institution. But according to the New York Times, the stereotypical French cafe is vanishing as customers are worried about the economy or have to go somewhere else to smoke or are nervous about the police picking them up for drunk driving. Social mores change as well and apparently young people don't drink during the day.

What is most disenheartening is that with no money or time for meals, the French, as the story reveals, are reduced to eating like les Anglo-Saxons!

5 comments:

Will said...

Mixed emotions.

The smoking ban has been awesome here. Road deaths - an epidemic a while ago are down dramatically - in part to radar and in part to less drink-driving.

But yes, like everywhere, friendly local places are disappearing - and yes McDonald's are often packed in here.

Donald said...

Like Will... it really stinks to see the friendly local places disappearing. Nothing against the golden arches but I'd rather hang out in a small cozy cafe chatting with friends over a libation.

Groover said...

Sooooo sad!

Sprocketboy said...

On the positive side, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about how locating a Starbucks shop attracted local, non-corporate coffeeshops as it increased business overall. People who don't want to wait at the inevitable line-up at Starbucks go off to the local place and discover better coffee that is cheaper and make it a regular stop. Starbucks hates this, apparently and tries to buy out leases of competitors!

Lily on the Road said...

I use to love spending an afternoon at a small cafe, people watching...how sad to hear they are slowing fading out of "style"....