Rodolphe Alliod (Press Club) and Benoît Rondet (Burger King) will open the Bivouak “mid-July, if all goes well” in Moulins (Allier)

The positioning is “strategic”, boasts the president of the Com’d’agglo, Pierre-André Périssol. “It’s a breathtaking view of the Allier, THE Spot, the No. 1 pitch,” adds Benoît Rondet. “There was a lack on Moulins”, notes Rodolphe Alliod. “The riversides were underused, whereas in Vichy, there are already about fifteen restaurants in this niche”.

The river restaurant, all the protagonists agree: it’s a great idea. The establishment, built by the Com’ d’agglo, then fitted out and managed by the company created by Rodolphe Alliod and Benoît Rondet, could open “mid-July”.

Big downside: the supply of materials

With one (big) downside: “We are subject to the vagaries of the supply of materials”, raises Philippe Boismenu, vice-president of the Agglo. “The timber market in particular is very tense.”

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Whatever the opening date, the entrepreneurs, who are “facing a blank page”, because “nothing is comparable to Moulins”, hope that their concept will be a hit.

The duo, which has just signed a 3/6/9 commercial lease with the Com’ d’agglo, has wet the jersey to carry out the “Bivouak” project. Rodolphe Alliod and Benoît Rondet, who “invested a lot” in it, “traveled across France” in search of “good ideas”.

Signature of the commercial lease

Thursday, May 5, signed (from left to right): Philippe Boismenu, vice-president of the Agglo in charge of trade, Pierre-André Périssol, president of the Agglo, Benoît Rondet and Rodolphe Alliod, bosses of the Bivouak, restaurant of River.

Spirit of Allier

If they want to keep the “surprise” on the details, they still “released” some information. The look of the site will be “warm and natural”, with “water, wood, glass”, “in a spirit of connection with the Allier”: “The building will be very bright, with sometimes more than 5 meters of ceiling “.

After a few battles, the initial architectural project has evolved a little “on two or three points”, in particular giving way to “a wooden terrace and not concrete”, specify the restorers.

The technical project was discussed and refined, point by point, between the architects, the Com’d’agglo and the contractors. “The hull is assembled and everything is in place, inside, to be able to easily visualize what it will become”.

The bosses want the restaurant “to be accessible to everyone and all ages, in a large mix, tourists and motorhomes, as well as locals, in summer, but also throughout the rest of the year. In any case, we want to be there, to take our place in the agglomeration”.

Bistronomy

The Bivouak must open this summer “seven days a week”, to allow you to eat above all, but also “to have a drink” at the bar. On big nights, Rodolphe Alliod and Benoît Rondet bet on “120 to 150 seats on the terrace”.

The restaurateurs had to work on their first menu with their cook just after the signing of the lease, this Thursday afternoon: “We will be in bistronomy, that is to say a superior brasserie, which relies on local and regional products, without to be elitist. This is the big trend of the moment. We want to get out of traditional brewing… but we won’t do molecular cuisine, it’s not that at all. In summer, we will have salads, fresh things as we all expect them and more hearty things in winter.

They are recruiting!

The company is still in the recruitment phase: “We need a second kitchen and especially waiters, waiters “runners”, because the terrace is 30 meters long. We are creating about fifteen jobs in all” (Contact them via their Instagram account “Le Bivouak”).

The two entrepreneurs have known each other “for a long time”, but had “never worked together”. Rodolphe Alliod is the owner of the Press Club in Yzeure and the Klubb in Metz, Benoît Rondet is a Burger King franchisee in Moulins, Bourges, Nevers and Montluçon.

It turns out that both were interested in the river restaurant project, but “not alone”: “One day, we just discussed it, we thought that joining forces would allow us to pool our resources , our skills and our experience”.

Opening of the Paillote on July 1

The two also manage La Paillote, which is due to reopen on July 1, after the work on the exteriors (it will finally be rebuilt for 2023). Le Bivouak and La Paillote, two “complementary” establishments: “We will have a wider opening for La Paillote, from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., both earlier and later than last year. People who want to have a drink can come here or higher up to the restaurant. The premises will benefit from a pergola. If it rains, no problem”.

All the set-ups and openings are more or less expected at the same time: let’s add the beach and all the services hosted in the house of the river, such as the rental of bicycles (about forty), the rental of canoes (with the ASPTT), the tourist reception point and the interpretation center for natural, historical, artistic and gastronomic heritage. Here too, recruitment is underway: travel advisors, bilingual or trilingual people, with knowledge of the world of tourism.

Already a problem with parking!

We remember the huge crowds that the left bank had experienced last year when La Paillote opened. Most customers coming by car, the adjoining car park was very quickly saturated. So, some parked in the rise or in the streets next door. So add the people who will want to come to the Bivouak (and to the beach, and to the house on the river…), the account is not good.

“Park near the CNCS or Intermarché”
“The gas station has been pre-empted, we will have a few additional places”, argues the president of the Com’d’agglo, Pierre-André Périssol, who encourages walking or cycling. “You can also park near the CNCS or in the Intermarché car park”. Not sure that the instruction is very followed.

Mathilde Duchatelle

In Yzeure (Allier), a bar-restaurant and two “aperitif boats” on the Ozières menu this summer

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