A better Bastille Day for Le Petit Paris
summit daily news
BRECKENRIDGE – The accordion music, clinking wine glasses and sizzling rib eyes at Le Petit Paris restaurant this Bastille Day commemorated a special triumph for owner Arielle Lamoure.
One year ago, the French bistro on Adams Street stood locked and darkened. The Colorado Department of Revenue had taken over because taxes weren’t getting paid.
“Last year was a black Bastille Day,” Lamoure said Tuesday in her heavily accented English.
No longer in a partnership, the woman from France has kept the business running since it reopened last fall.
“This is something that pulls me up, made me say every day, ‘It’s worth it,'” she said, adding that her staff was integral to the success.
The week before Bastille Day in July 2008, officials came to the restaurant, kicked everyone out and changed the locks on the doors of the 52-seat eatery.
The restaurant owed about $17,000 in unpaid sales and withholding taxes dating back nearly to the February 2007 opening, according to a previous report.
After the closure, local resident and restaurant patron Barbara Calvin ran into Lamoure on the street. Calvin and her husband, Jim, helped provide financial support to get the restaurant back on its feet – reopening last September.
Lamoure said Tuesday the taxes are being paid and the restaurant “will never shut down again.”
“It’s not easy, because I didn’t take the high way, I took the hard way – because when we closed because of taxes, it’s like we did something really bad,” she said. “I felt ashamed because for me, it was terrible. I don’t ask people to understand or feel sorry … I love Breckenridge, that’s all.”
She said she takes responsibility for everything and is “happy” with the situation a year later.
The restaurant now offers Sunday brunch and may soon extend its hours.
Lamoure hired executive chef Josh Hall shortly after the reopening.
“It’s like if an angel sent me Josh. I mean he’s the best, and I am really picky,” she said.
They combined efforts to create the Bastille Day menu, which included bouillabaisse – a French stew with marlin, mussels and clams.
The 12-ounce rib eye steaks served Tuesday came seasoned only with salt and pepper.
“I don’t like to complicate things too much,” Hall said. “Take a few ingredients and make those few ingredients extraordinary.”
Hall, who was trained in classic French cuisine at New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, said business has been “steady” this year.
Lamoure said Bastille Day means fireworks and celebration – and plenty of blue, white and red decorations – for the French.
“For most of them, it’s one more occasion to drink a lot and celebrate so many things,” she said.
Lamoure said she is grateful to the Breckenridge community for its support over the past year.
Robert Allen can be contacted
at (970) 668-4628 or
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