'No Trick, No Treat, No Fooling'

photo: neon sign, le corona

Our club's café sign. I don't know why it is spelled wrong.

Important Club Alert

Paris:- Friday, 19. October 2001:- Just after the end of yesterday's club meeting, the 'Waiter of the Week,' Patrick slipped me the word 'renovation.' For this alone, Patrick becomes the 'Waiter of the Month.'

He suggested I wait until next week for details. But some of you are planning on visiting Paris and the club to become members - and you may be coming by sub-sonic hot-air balloon, so it seems to me that I should give you the details about this as soon as possible.

As forecast, the weather today is sloppy, but as usual La Corona is dry. After the usual extensive round of handshakes I discover the café's patron, Monsieur Naudan, in his 'fix-something' clothes and hit him with the 'Question of the Week.'

He is pleased that the 'club' is concerned. Hephoto: m naudan with brochure is also proud of the project to give the interior of the café a new look. In the presence of Madame Naudan he shows me the new chair proposed for the café.

"Look," he says, "You can tilt back on it. It's really stable!"

Monsieur Naudan wonders whether the chair he has picked is really best.

It is also much more elegant, with its bent-wood frame and back, while being lighter than the clunky old chairs. If we ever have chair-fights, the new ones will be handy.

Next he is showing me a glossy brochure full of snazzy café furniture, and madame brings out samples of the leather-like material that will cover the chair seats and all of the booth seats.

We have a regular showing of them all. Out of the six or seven samples, they are tending towards three - all neither too light nor too dark - and none of them are near red or yellow.

The choices are called 'tabac,' 'elephant' and 'antelope.' There isn't a great difference, and what difference there is does not show clearly in the photo. I like the 'elephant' shade.

If you want to make your choice known, just write it down on a postcard, and send it to Mr et Mme Naudan at the café's address below. Mentioning you are a club member will help your choice carry more weight.

The 'grande salle' where the club holds its weekly meetings is not going to see big changes. Howeverphoto: samples, tabac, elephant, antelope the new seat covers will harmonize better with the existing colors, which I assume will be re-painted. The '50s-era neons will be kept

Possible future chair material - from the left, Tabac, Elephant and Antelope. Remember to vote.

The outside of the café will not change at all because your club's café is a 'Site Classé Beaux-Arts' and cannot be changed without Madame Tasca's permission. I bet you had no idea your clubhouse was a bit 'ritzy' did you?

The biggest change will be in the bar area. This has been 'as is' for the past 30 to 50 years and it will be completely redone, although I expect the changes will not be too radical because of the modest changes in the rest of the café. Expect a new bar, café machine, beer taps, tables and maybe a layout change.

Understandably, the Naudans are pretty excited about all of this. They have been running La Corona for the past 30 years, and I believe madame said the café has been in the family for the past 50. For them, it is to quit being a 'sight for sore eyes' to become a classier joint.

The Club's Temporary Location

After explaining to Monsieur Naudan that readers will be showing up to become 'Café Metropole Club' members while La Corona's renovations are in progress, he suggested that we inspect 'Le Café Lodi,' just a few doors away on the Quai du Louvre.

He changed out of his 'fix-it' clothes and introduced me to the Café Lodi's new management, whichphoto: le cafe lodi is in the process of finishing this café's renovation, for its expected reopening on Monday.

The Café Lodi is more modest than La Corona, but should be a suitable short-term substitute.

Le Café Lodi, at 24. Quai du Louvre, has been closed for a year, but has been known by this name since 1969. It is a much simpler café than La Corona, but it has a 'big-enough' area to accommodate club meetings - plus it is completely renovated.

So yes, readers and potential club members, and all 'charter' club members - your club has a temporay meeting location arranged, and you will be nearly the first to sit on its new upholstery - so long as you turn up for Café Metropole Club meetings in it.

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