In Cahors, the youth hostel opens a rooftop bar overlooking the Valentré bridge

the essential
The Le Chai youth hostel opens a new bar with a terrace directly overlooking the Valentré bridge on Monday 22 May. A tedious project to carry out for the establishment located in this sector of Cahors classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is the realization of a somewhat dangerous adventure. But the result is there. Above all, the superb view from the third floor, which overlooks the Valentré de Cahors bridge. The Le Chai Youth Hostel now has its own ‘rooftop’ bar, a bar located on a roof terrace. Four days before the opening, Jeanne Lecompte, the director of the establishment, rubs her hands: “When I arrived at the head of the youth hostel a year ago, I immediately stared at the terrace, it was the trigger for my decision” , she remembers. Next Monday she will open the O per ‘Chai bar on the top floor of the youth hostel with a capacity of 70 seats. The single site of Cahors will be open to all, ie not only to the clientele of the inn. Tables and chairs have already been installed, even the olive and lemon trees are already in bloom on the premises. À la carte: platters of cured meats (from Compozieux) and cheeses for 12 euros, beer from Ratz, Pastis de Souillac, cocktails including the classic Mojito for €7.5, mixed rums, one of which is surprising, with macadamia nuts, wine of Cahors at 4 euros a glass…

The terrace facing the Valentré bridge.
DDM Manon Adoue

But before getting there, Jeanne Lecompte and Wael, the bar manager, had to persevere and bear their problems with patience. He had already worked at the Délirium café in Toulouse, at the R & G bistro in Blagnac and at the V & B in Portet-sur-Garonne, but never in such an imposing place. But whoever says heritage safeguarded also says draft of the dossier. “The passages were quite long, we had to make several adjustments to be able to respect the goal we had set ourselves and open up to sunny days”, explains Wael. This winter, the couple sent a first long and substantial application to Buildings of France, supported by the prefecture and by Grand Cahors, which is also the lessor of the premises. “We still don’t have official authorization to use the pergolas because they need to be sealed, so we decided to install parasols in the meantime,” says Jeanne Lecompte.

Closing at 21:00, out of respect for pilgrims

The buildings of France said OK but on condition that neutral colors are respected, that nothing protrudes from the terrace or does “homework” with the Valentré bridge. It was therefore necessary to find a license 4 to be able to offer cocktails. “We’ve been looking for a while because it’s highly regulated and we can only retrieve an already existing license associated with an establishment,” he continues. A license was finally issued to Douelle. Eventually, Wael was recruited.

The bar is open every day from 15.30 to 21.00, every day, from Monday to Sunday and without reservation. The public is invited to follow the signs to go up to the roof. Closing at 21, yes, it’s early, but: “A large part of the hostel’s clientele is made up of pilgrims who go to bed early and all the rooms overlook the terrace, we want to respect their rest and silence”, says the manager. An inaugural evening of Lot of flavours, with DJs, is already planned for June. A starred chef will offer saffron cocktails, the theme of the edition. The promise of beautiful evenings under the stars, dreaming in front of the Valentré bridge.

A solidarity sale on Wednesday and next Saturday

On Wednesday 24 May from 14:00 to 18:00 and Saturday 27 May from 14:00 to 18:00, the youth hostel is transformed into a solidarity second-hand shop. On the initiative of this project: Chloé, Léonie and Manon, three Clément Marot high school students who set up the event from A to Z. Clothing for men and women, children and adults and accessories will be on sale, in the cellar room. Cash payment only.

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