2 February 2021



Le Jean Bart in August 2007.

When we first set foot in the village of Le Grand-Pressigny there were two bars, plus a restaurant and a hotel.  The one that has been through the most changes is the bar named Le Jean Bart.

The Jean Bart in 2008.  The local plumbers had the shop next door.

It had an excellent position in the village square with plenty of space outside for chairs and tables so that people could enjoy the view and the weather at any time of day.

There is no question that to keep a bar like this is hard work and long hours.  After a few years the word was out that the lady owner wanted to retire.

Le Jean Bart in 2011.

The Jean Bart was closed for a while until the business was taken over by a couple who began to serve snacks and ice creams.  After a few years this couple also moved on.

For the first few months of 2017 there was great excitement as people watched huge changes taking place.  It was rumoured that the new owner had great plans for the bar, running it as a bistro, serving good food and not just drinks and snacks.  The name of the bar was changed to "Chez L".

It was just what the village needed, providing something other than a full evening meal for the visitors and plenty of space to enjoy a drink with the local ambience.  Chez L was without doubt a huge asset to the village.

The old fashioned, crouch down and hope for the best loo was replaced by a modern toilet building with disabled access and a dinosaur outside.  

Chez L served great food and as if that wasn't enough, there were also music nights, usually in the bar but also outside on the pavement.  Sadly, it didn't last and at the end of December 2019 Chez L, or the Jean Bart as we had known it, closed again.

It came under new ownership in the summer of 2020 and re-opened as "Le Comptoir" with a grand opening night.

It is currently closed again due to the lockdown in France but with a bit of luck will be back in full swing by the summer.  We're keeping our fingers crossed that Le Comptoir will survive although we still refer to it as "Lisa's" and even occasionally as the "Jean Bart".  We certainly don't want to lose it.


  1. Hello Jean,

    The fame and fortunes of bars and restaurants does seem to wax and wane the world over. They seem very susceptible to the fashions and ficklenesses of their customers and yet they really can be at the heart of the community which they serve.

    Let us hope that your local restaurant will reopen and survive as we trust that so many local treasures will also have managed to survive this incredibly difficult time. One thing is for certain, your first drink or snack of the summer will be the most delicious ever!

    1. Jane and Lance, you're so right. Running a restaurant must be a nightmare and a gamble. This one already has the advantage of a prime location and a local population that would really welcome its services and want it to do well.

  2. Oh, French restaurants. I have had such good times in them. Mostly, I have loved the waiting staff and despised the actual owners, but times changed even before the plague. I remember when Parisians were ordered to be nice to tourists, if even for their own sakes.

    1. Tom, our experience of the service in the restaurants in our part of rural France has been mostly very good. I was watching the repeat of Rick Stein's Secret France on TV last night and he was spot on. There is some rubbish food and really bad service around but mostly it is good.

  3. I almost get tearful when I hear one of my favorite restaurants is closing.
    It is a sad loss.

    1. Michael, they do seem to change hands a bit where we are in France. Often they're closed for a while and then they come back under new ownership.

  4. Thank you! I have enjoyed visiting France by reading your blog, although I seldom comment. Good Luck with your future plans.