Difficult to imagine the Cafe de Paris not in full swing for an hour, never mind months. If any icon represents the beating heart of the Principality, it is Casino Square itself, the Cafe de Paris and its Belle Époque surrounds that warrant everyday applause.
So it took a Press Conference at the Hotel Hermitage with deputy chairman of SBM Jean-Luc Biamonti speaking to reveal a spectacular project heretofore somewhat “hush hush” that would launch Cafe de Paris as a beacon optimistically leading us out of the “Covid era”.
The backdrop of the Press Conference were the reported figures, at the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders, of how SBM has fared through these most difficult of times, especially the toll on the hotels, restaurants, gaming and tourism outlets. Just short of halving volumes of business from about 620 million euros in 2019/2020 just cannot be managed without thorough restructuring of operations accompanied by voluntary redundancies (just over 230), if also very minor compelled exits of employees, numbering less than three.
SBM is through that challenging phase and fortunately this summer has been a relatively good one. And also giving stability, rentals of prime properties did not take a tumble but rather showed some growth, just over 10%, which moderated the painful results (uniquely attached to the Covid era).
In fact the first quarter of 2022 has the potential to be positive, it is reported.
Now for the exciting and surprising news. The Casino de Paris is about to be completely revamped, though of course retaining its gorgeous external appearance.
What we know and love reportedly stays. But unbeknown to many, the Cafe de Paris sits on hidden gems that the new architectural plans will reveal as part of a splendid enhanced future for the icon.
Reportedly there will not just be the one brewing and dining facility but two food premises . On the first floor of the current building, the terrace will be generously enlarged and enhanced to offer a panoramic view of the Place du Casino.
The rear of the building, currently not frequented by customers at all, will offer shops with famous brands. The terraces also should offer a splendid view of the garden bordered by Avenue des Spélugues, a green space with spectacular potential. In the basement of the Café de Paris, the changing rooms and rest rooms will be redesigned. Instead of the old Moods, there are several options – not with a full kitchen, but possibly with the offering of finger foods.
A Year In The Making
It is such a large project with all the spaces being renovated at the same time, that it is going to take about a year of work during which the Cafe de Paris naturally will be closed. The best reported estimate is one of the NEW Cafe de Paris reopening in June 2023 after 10 to 12 months of renovation; the building permit is expected to be ready within approximately a month.
This all bodes well for the future of Monte Carlo and the Principality. There are visionary projects on the drawing board that are planned to launch Monaco into a new optimistic era.