La Rotonde is the meeting place for artists and intellectuals from Picasso to Emmanuel Macron, a look back at the history of this legendary café.
One of the high places of Parisian life
At the beginning of the 20th century, when a certain Monsieur Libion bought a small bistro at the corner of boulevards Raspail and Montparnasse, he had little idea that what he baptized “La Rotonde” was to become one of the high places of Parisian life. , a real institution. La Rotonde opened its doors in 1903 in the Montparnasse district. At first, it was just a popular bistro with no particular appeal. It will be necessary to wait until 1911 when it will be bought by the Auvergne Victor Libion who will enlarge it by adding the premises of a shoe store. La Rotonde became a cosmopolitan brasserie frequented by wealthy Germans and Americans, but above all a meeting place for artists and writers. Among the regulars, the writers André Salmon, Guillaume Apollinaire, Blaise Cendrars, the painters Picasso, Modigliani, Soutine, Kisling, Foujita, André Derain, Vlaminck, the musicians Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinski, Darius Milhaud.
Prestigious clients like Emmanuel Macron
Libion is known for its warm welcome and generosity. In order to attract international customers, he subscribes to the press from all over the world. He gives credit to many starving artists and writers. It is said that with each delivery of fresh bread, Libion discreetly disappeared to give them time to tear off a piece. He had ordered the servers not to require the renewal of drinks. Artists could stay like this for hours in front of an empty glass. Libion hoped that this type of customer would eventually make his café famous and he was not mistaken: painters offered him drawings, others exhibited in the brasserie. The generosity of the owner has been rewarded since the closerie des Lilas has become over the years an essential meeting place for Parisian nights. And it still is today, it is here that President Emmanuel Macron came to celebrate his victory in the last presidential elections.
Traditional French cuisine
Today, at the Rotonde, you can savor traditional French cuisine : meat from Salers, ribs of beef, oysters…and changing dishes of the day. Customers enjoy a beautiful and large terrace to observe the permanent animation of the boulevard. There are many theaters and entertainment venues in the neighborhood and the Rotonde is the ideal place to dine before or after the show!
105 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris