Originally from the entity of Dour, the Hénunier Manu Bourlard managed for twenty years a tavern in Wasseiges, in the province of Liège. Two years ago, he moved to Brittany where, on April 12, he opened his bistronomic restaurant.
Baptized “Bécassine”, the sign evokes the eponymous cartoon character, a childhood memory of the Belgian restaurateur established in Plounévez-Moëdec, and a friendly nod to his adopted homeland. The centenary Breton does not always enjoy the best reputation, however, conveying for some the image of a somewhat silly woman.
“The wink was not to the taste of the Dispac’h collective (“revolt” in Breton), mobilized for several years against the development of second homes in Brittany, which hastened to tag in red the establishment”, recently commented the French daily Le Parisien. “Bécassine outside” and other vindictive slogans were then affixed by the extremists on the facade of the restaurant, on the garage door of the neighbor as well as on the municipal road.
“It started with one or another derogatory comment on social networks and on the phone. But, in the end, this story will also have advertised my establishment”, smiles the boss Manu Bourlard. The Belgian expatriate enjoys the support of many Bretons, including that of the mayor of Plounévez-Moëdec who appeared alongside him in a local newspaper. With about fifteen seats, the room of the small restaurant is always full. “After reading my misadventure in Le Parisien, a resident of Brest sent me a package by post. This contained a Bécassine doll that she knitted, with the announcement of an upcoming visit to my establishment,” concludes the restaurant owner in his fifties.