A new lease of life for Saint-Jacques and Tuscany in Saint-Flour (Cantal)

Run by the Prat family for many years, the Saint-Jacques is more than a hotel-restaurant, it is an institution in the lower town of Saint-Flour. But last November, the hour of retirement came for Françoise and Daniel who gave the last turn of the key and sold the building to Philippe and Isabelle Meissonnier.

Dynamics in the suburb

But there is no question, for Mickaël Philippon and Karine Oblonsek, who “have lived next door for more than 20 years and have always been friends with the family”, of seeing this establishment disappear.

We didn’t want anything firmer in Saint-Flour. And then it was an opportunity to bring some dynamism back to the suburb

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The couple then considered buying the building, but quickly abandoned the idea in the face of a major investment that was difficult to finance.

Philippe and Isabelle therefore acquire it, carry out major works, separate the hotel and the restaurant into two distinct parts and entrust the rental-management of the restaurant to Mickaël. “It immediately matched with them”, assures the new tenant who, if he made his first service this Wednesday, took over the premises in January when the work began, very involved in the decoration that he wanted warm, wood and stone. “I took care of the decoration at 99%”. It must be said that he knows a lot about Mickaël, having been in charge of a decoration store in Aurillac, which he left to embark on this new project. “The work ended on June 14 at 6 p.m. We made holes until the last minute, ”he says. “For an inauguration at 6:30 p.m.,” adds his wife Karine, who has also embarked on this adventure, while keeping her Center Com reprography business, a stone’s throw from the restaurant. And where she’s been going back and forth for months. “I go to the store in the morning, I arrive here at 11:50 am. At the end of the service, I leave and I come back in the evening, after a good shower”.


This Wednesday, June 15, the Saint-Jacques therefore reopened its doors, with a new name reminiscent of the old one to preserve its historic soul, “O’Bistrot Saint-Jacques”, in a brand new setting, with a brand new furniture and new colors. “And a fairly short menu with 5 salads, 5 starters, 5 dishes and 5 desserts and a menu of the day, all homemade and local products”, assures Mickaël, who promises a new offer of charcuterie boards, cheeses and tapas weekends, then every evening in July/August. As well as new slate dishes.
In the kitchen, three cooks, including an apprentice, and in the service, three young people “plus the two of us. Me at the bar and reception. Karine at the launch of orders in the kitchen and in the service”.
Another novelty, the couple offers for rent a meeting room with overhead projector, upstairs, with a capacity of 25 people.

Emblematic of the upper town

Vincent Bros, Alexis Estival and Vincent Pignol, a trio at the helm of Tuscany

In the upper town, Tuscany is just as emblematic. Due to its position, right in the middle of rue des Lacs. Because it is also one of the most pleasant and spacious terraces in the centre, which is also sheltered from the wind. But also because in the kingdom of sausage aligot, pizzerias are rare… Despite this, after a change of manager, already last year, the place was free.
An opportunity seized by the two bosses of Gallia, Vincent Pignol and Vincent Bros.

When the opportunity arose, we didn’t think much, we went for it, smiles the first named. A case like that cannot be refused. We are in the main street of Saint-Flour, the location is top… it couldn’t stay closed.

To carry out the two cases at the same time, they joined forces in this one with Alexis Estival. Born in the world of hotels and restaurants (his parents had a business in Super-Besse), he studied in the brasseries of Saint-Tropez or the Alps, where he dabbled in pizza, which allowed him to officiate in the oven and train the team, before returning to Saint-Flour.

At Gallia, in Saint-Flour (Cantal), the two go hand in hand


Let those who loved the place be reassured: the trio did not arrive to revolutionize it. “We are going to keep everything that made Tuscany so successful, warns Vincent Pignol. Pizzas, on site and to take away, and some brasserie dishes. No bar, we do not compete with the Hotel du Nord. And animations the big weekends of the summer. By being open almost all year round. The only notable change, “we completely changed the furniture on the terrace, to give it a facelift and have a uniform shade,” says Alexis Estival.
A new breath for the establishment… which will have exhausted its bosses for the first week, especially the two busy running from Gallia to Tuscany. “It’s normal, it’s the beginning, you have to get your bearings,” explains Vincent Pignol. But, in season, we will be eight, with a good team, confidence, that will do it. »

Yann Bayssat and Isabelle Barnerias


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