Paris’ Oldest Bakery Closes

Au Richelieu Boulangerie shutters after 202 years due to rent increase

The oldest bakery in Paris, Au Richelieu Boulangerie, will be closing soon thanks to a landlord who’s doubling the rent.

The bakery, which opened around the corner from the Louvre in 1810, has been a beloved institution best known for its baguettes (at left). Baker Claude Esnault, who has been with the bakery since 1969, told Reuters, "I would have liked to have seen somebody take over the bakery, but it will close, it will die. It’s an end. A sad end."

It’s a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, and sushi shops and other high-end stores are quickly replacing long-established businesses. The landlord doubled the rent, and that’s simply something the boulangerie couldn’t afford.

The next tenant to take over the space will be a sweet shop, according to the report.

"The absence of local facilities will make the area dead," Esnault added. "It's like in a village when there's no bakery and no school."

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