Photos: Chez Omar

In the top 5 favorite dishes of the French, couscous is a very local institution.

In Paris, the couscous restaurant Chez Omar is also an institution. Inaugurated in 1979, rue de Bretagne, in the Marais, next to a cinema (at the current location of the Franprix supermarket), the establishment has never been empty since then.

“From day one, my establishment was fashionable… thanks to fashion people,” says Omar Guerda, now 79 years old. Even today, it remains a sure value. We eat couscous there seven days a week, lunch and dinner, except Sunday evening.

In addition to fashion people, including the fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa based in the 4th arrondissement, there is a crowd of night owls. In fact, the legendary years 1979-1980 correspond to the golden age of Parisian nights. Party people come to dinner at Chez Omar before going to have fun at the Shower Baths, very close (rue du Bourg-l'Abbé, in the 3rd).

From the rock group Telephone to Grace Jones via Jack Nicholson, David Bowie or Mel Gibson, the nightclub is frequented by celebrities who sometimes stop by the establishment on rue de Bretagne.

Finally, the 1980s saw the rise of the Marais gay and art galleries in the neighborhood – Yvon Lambert on your mind. “After the openings, people met at my house,” remembers the owner.

Omar's secret? “I kept the original decor, that of an inter-war brasserie called La Bière,” says the boss who is as much an aesthete as a great sage. “In the 1980s, a lot of people advised me to destroy everything to create a modern decor. They told me to have carpet laid. » To which Omar systematically replies: “No. »

This is why the restaurant room retains its character and continues to attract a loyal clientele. They are not the only ones but the “fashioners” are always there.

“In 2017,” says Omar, “Naomi Campbell came to see me after the funeral of Azzedine Alaïa who had hosted her, when she was just starting out, in her house in Marais. She said to me: “Today I buried my dad…”

Omar's other secret is his consistency: in forty-three years, his card has not changed once. And it’s true that tradition is good!

At Omar's
47 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Monday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 14:30 p.m. and from 19 p.m. – 23:30 p.m.
Sunday from 19 p.m. – 23:30 p.m.
Tel: +09 86 39 91 14 XNUMX 

Text: Axel G.

18.02.22

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