With three active establishments, there is no shortage of café-restaurants in Rosières. Aux Mets Tissés – an evocative name – denotes him by his exoticism. “We chose to baptize it thus in reference to the Franco-Togolese origins of Léonard, but also in connection with the Afro-reggae atmosphere that we wanted to create”, explains Laurence Fargier, between two orders, while the speakers diffuse the one of singer Rosalia’s Latin songs.
The soul in Haute-Loire and the taste buds elsewhere
That Thursday morning, under a sunny sky warming up the atmosphere by a few degrees, a handful of regulars sat on the terrace and at the counter. Among them, Manu and Marcel, in their sixties, remake the world around a glass of white wine. “It’s our office, laughs the first. Here, we can discuss everything and forget the worries of everyday life”.
Both come almost every day to lean on the counter. And this, since the small business opened its doors in 2004. At that time, Laurence and Léonard were employed in the restaurant business. Tired of being directed, they finally decided to “fly on their own” by taking over, here in Rosières, the establishment of Marc and Pierrette Souchon. Owners for more than thirty years, they had themselves succeeded Claudius Julien – “Father Julien”, as he was called -, on the initiative of creating the establishment in the 1950s. “At the time, Marc Souchon, it was not the same atmosphere, remembers Rémy, another recurring customer of the place, a little later in the day. It was more working-class, even road-going”.
After 18 years, our clientele
has become our family
When settling in, Laurence and Léonard carried out some refreshment work. This is how, over the years, the wooden terrace and counter appeared. But the real change took place on the side of his identity. Through the decoration, background music and meals prepared every lunchtime, Laurence and Léonard bring a touch of exoticism.
In the menu, to the very Altiligerian lasagna with lentils, tripe and other sausages, was added the foufou – cassava flour that can be prepared mashed or accompanied, for example, with tomato sauce – consumed mainly in West Africa , mafé, a stew also prepared in this part of the continent, or even sausage rougail, a specialty from Reunion.
Here we can discuss
and forget the worries of everyday life
Recipes mainly found in the family kitchen, but also during their various trips, made sometimes in Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Senegal, sometimes in Morocco. “We don’t have a theme day. We cook more according to our desires,” says Léonard. If, during the launch of these more than atypical menus, customers were a little reluctant, they ended up getting used to it. Even, by asking for more!
In addition to meals, the two owners organize various concerts on Friday evenings, seven to eight times a year. Here again, cultural diversity is essential. Thus performed, on the small stage of the Mets Tissés, the group of afro beats Sabaly, B-Roy, formerly accordionist of Manu Chao specialized in the reinterpretation of French songs, but also Nataverne, essential group in the Celtic folk rock universe .
Customers feeling at home
When the musical performances are not taking place, a form of serenity reigns in the small bar-restaurant. Many regulars feel at home there. And it is not Monique, 88, who will say the opposite. Almost every evening, the resident crosses the door to “toast” with Laurence and Léonard. “I love them, affectionately releases the octogenarian. You know, they bring me my lunch every lunchtime! They make me eat well”.
“After 18 years, our clientele has somewhat become our family,” adds Laurence. The attachment is such that the opening of the bar depends on the presence of customers. “In the evening, we don’t really have a closing time, assures the owner. Even if there are five of them, we stay open until they decide to leave. »
Despite the omnipresence of many regulars, the establishment still experienced a drop in attendance with the pandemic. This called its future into question, Laurence and Léonard oscillating between desires elsewhere and the desire to develop their business. “We would like to turn it into a gîte because we have a lot of requests. We’ll have to think about it…”
Find all the previous parts of the series in our special file “Behind the zinc”