RUBRIQUES DU MAGAZINE Edition Evénements Ventes Expositions Autres

 

Cliquez sur ce drapeau pour afficher la version française Click on this flag to display the english version

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

Leroy Haynes, Paris, in the 1970ies

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

Chez Haynes,
3 rue Clauzel, Paris 9e

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

Excerpt of a Daily :
WOJG (Warrant Officer, Junior Grade) Leroy Haynes, coach of the Würzburg Military Post football
team in Germany

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

The athletic american wrestler James Brown,left his picture in the restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

Leroy Haynes and a friend,
circa 1950

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

"Gabby & Haynes" at the beginning
in the 1950ies :
Leroy in the kitchen
with an american officer tasting southern food

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris
Paris, in the 1950ies
GI's and Jazz musicians will be the first customers in the small restaurant of the rue Manuel

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes and Peter O'Toole American restaurant Paris

Leroy Haynes in the kitchen
with Peter O'Toole, Paris, rue Clauzel
during the 60ies.

 

Leroy Haynes and Maria Haynes American restaurant Paris

Maria and Leroy Haynes, Paris , the day of their wedding, in 1985

Leroy Haynes Pétroleuses American restaurant ParisLeroy Haynes, the "Nounou" in Les Pétroleuses (1971) directed by Christian-Jaque

 

Haynes's : 60 years of an American in Paris

by Jean Segura

Translation, Christine Madsen

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris 

Leroy "Roughouse" Haynes

1914-1986

Southern Food at Pigalle

Chez Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Paris, March 5-14, 2009

The oldest American restaurant in Paris - and in Europe - with its walls covered with photos of actors and musicians of the 50s and 60 and his special " soul food "from the Mississippi, is soon going to close its doors after sixty years.

The story of this unique - and mythical - restaurant created by Leroy Haynes, is worth being told : for the charm of its decoration and the exoticism of its cooking, for its famous dinner guests coming from across the Atlantic and, naturally, for the memories that it will leave with those who, as me, knew it and liked it.

This story will take its place next to these small fragments of picturesque America which spread out in post-war Paris, such as the American Center of Boulevard Raspail (today replaced by the Jean Nouvel's " ice-cold " building for the Foundation Cartier) or the bookshop of the Latin district : Shakespeare & Company opened by Georges Whitman in August 1951 and still situated at 37 rue de la Bucherie, in front of Notre Dame.


Leroy Howard Milton Haynes, Afro-American, son of Robert Haynes and M.C. Curine Lena, was born in Clinton, Kentucky on January 7th, 1914. His family is going to settle down in Chicago where Leroy is raised by a father-in-law who would have worked for Al Capone at the Prohibition time. Moreover, Haynes enjoyed telling that, as a child, he happened to meet the famous gangster.

While growing, Leroy deviates however from the trail of this gangster father-in-law. After High School he returns to the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta. This university, created after the Civil War, in 1867, offers to Afro-Americans the possibility to attend superior level studies ; this institution is conditioned by segregationist laws - in particular in South States, as Georgia - which imposed an education strictly separated between whites and blacks. From this “black” academy came out historic figures as Martin Luther King, cinema celebrities as the director Spike Lee and the actor Samuel L. Jackson.

 

FOOTBALL AND SOCIOLOGY

Athletic with more than five feet nine and rather "sturdy man", Leroy takes advantage of these years spent on campus to become an American football champion in the School team. He is a real pillar, and therefore will be given the nickname of "Roughouse", which he will keep in time.

Sport doesn’t prevent him from reading books, in 1940 he receives his Master’s degree in Arts and Sociology.

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

WOJG (Warrant Officer, Junior Grade)Leroy Haynes,
From Chicago,(Standing with discus in hand),
Athletic Officer for the Kitzingen
Training Center'Track Team, instructs members
of the team during pracic session.
Kitzingen, Germany - 22 July 1948.

 

GI IN EUROPE

Abroad war mutters and on December 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbour precipitates America into general fire. At the age of 28, Leroy joins the Pacific Army from 1942 to 1945. Then in 1946, he becomes Warrant Officer Junior and moves to serve in Germany till 1949, more exactly on the bases of Kitzingen and Würzburg in Bavaria. His reputation as a footballer followed him and he trains GI teams there.

Leroy Haynes and  Cab Calloway American restaurant Paris

Leroy Haynes with Cab Calloway, at "Gabby & Haynes"

Fate or his will, Leroy does not continue his military career and prefers to return to civil life. He travels in Europe and discovers France with which he falls in love. He has then the idea to register in Sorbonne to prepare a Doctorate of Sociology. But, either due to his lack of French, or his lack of money, or to both, his university ambitions will stay only at the state of project. Settled in Paris, he completes his GI’s paid by working as a barman in a French traditional restaurant. It is in these circumstances that he meets Gabrielle Lecarbonnier, nick name Gabby, a young Frenchwoman born the July 5, 1928, from Cherbourg, whom he marries very rapidly.
In 1949, with 900 dollars in hand, they started a restaurant in a tiny place located rue Manuel, 7, in the 9th district, near rue des Martyrs and close to Place Pigalle. "Gabby and Haynes", that’s the restaurant’s name, is the first table in France offering traditional old American South cooking.

 

AMERICA'S LITTLE ACRE IN PARIS

We can imagine how hard it was at the beginning : " all I knew how to cook, was green vegetables, chicken, chitterlings and soul food, a kind of food French people could not understand " tells Leroy to a journalist. He said that one early morning, while he came back from the meat market (at the time in Les Halles in Paris), he came back rue Manuel with two military trucks full of black GI’s coming from Nuremberg and lost in Paris.

" They really found in my place the food their mother used to make : fatback and greens, piece-fried sausage, etc. ". The information is then going to spread in the American bases of NATO : it’s possible to find Southern cooking in Pigalle.

The black GI’s are soon joined by American jazzmen, more and more numerous in the 1950 to perform in Paris, such as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Sydney Bechet (godfather of his son Richard), The Platters or Lionel Hampton. Gabby and Haynes becomes a small part of Mississippi for all these nostalgic blacks of their classic and so tasty" food soul ".

Leroy tells that Louis Armstrong, during a concert, hurried up to finish his last song announcing to the public that a warm plate of "red beans and rice" was waiting for him at Haynes.

The restaurant quickly becomes a place of preference for writers and afro-American jazz musicians visiting or living in Paris during these post-war years. Richard Wright (1908-1960), a writer born in Louisiana, author of Native Son and Black Boy, living in Paris and welcomed by Sartre and the group of Les Temps Modernes, has his customs there ; as well as James Baldwin, another regular customer.


According to New York Time’s figure, approximately 2000 to 3000 black American live in Paris during the 50s : students, artists, writers, showmen, and hotel’s or service’s employees, American Embassy and Consulate employees, NATO’ s employees who’s headquarter is Porte Dauphine or UN’s employees. Some took the French nationality and many married Europeans.

A FORMER BROTHEL BECOMES THE TEMPLE OF SOUL FOOD

In ten years France was transformed, especially due to the Marshall Plan. North of the 9th district in Paris knows in the evening an effervescent life : music halls, cinemas, cabarets, strip teases. Night birds, musicians, tourists and neighbours are looking for pleasure and relaxing places away from boulevard’s jumble between Blanche and Pigalle, familiar or exotic places to eat a piece and if possible hear some live music.


Some good tables stay open late to welcome these guests not in a hurry to go to sleep. On the 18th side there are Abbesses and rue Lepic’s restaurants which leads towards Montmartre, today so frequented, but relatively deserted in the years 1950-60. On the 9th side there are discreet restaurants as Corossol Doudou at the end of rue Laferrière (behind the place Saint Georges), a Caribbean tavern where one can eat hot boudin and cod acras. La Cloche d’or in the angle of rue Mansart and rue Fontaine, a kind of Swiss chalet with a big fireplace and its dining rooms on the top floor.


Down on the street, rue Manuel, it is now written Chez Gabby's on the banner of the restaurant created in 1949 ; the couple got separated in 1960. Meanwhile Leroy and Gabby had a little boy, Richard who later will learn to cook as his father.

What happened to Leroy? It is a period badly known in his life: after he separated from Gabby he moved to Germany, in particular to Frankfurt, where he stays until 1964. It is only when he returns in Paris, that he came back in the 9th, and opens a second restaurant : Chez Haynes, rue Clauzel, in front of a street coal trader. It is a street which also looks onto rue des Martyrs, but located on the other pavement, 50 m above rue Manuel.

The number 3 of rue Clauzel is, according to the legend, a former brothel frequented in the XIXth century and at the beginning of the XXth by artists and middle-class people who live in the district. In Van Gogh, Maurice Pialat’s movie (1991), a hint is made concerning a brothel rue Clauzel where the painter had his customs. We know that the painter used to buy his brushes and his tubes at Le Père Tanguy (from 1873 to 1892) situated number 14 on the opposite pavement, the place was affectionately named by its customers "Le Socrate de la rue Clauzel ". Did Vincent van Gogh really haunt these places? It is not impossible. Other significative reference, Guy de Maupassant, author among others of La Maison Tellier, lived in 17 rue Clauzel. The rue Clauzel, quite as rue Manuel (formerly rue de Morée) are described by Paul Léautaud in its narrative Le petit ami (Mercure de France, 1903) as a places of soliciting :" women in hair which hung up the passers-by ". This small part of the 9th - " Breda Street de Gavarni (…) full of artists and “lorettes " - was indeed one of the warm districts of Paris before 14-18 War. On 3 rue Clauzel, arches and still present twisted columns would be the work of a decorator or an interior designer answering the necessity of fantasy linked to this pleasure place.

Leroy must be amused that so much faribolles were able to occur between these walls. Chez Haynes open finally its doors : strange place with its wooden logs facade, a " Hut in Canada " in Pigalle. On the menu, tuna salad, spare ribs barbecue wipe, honey fried chicken, Mexican Chile, shrimp and chicken gumbos, T bone steak, grilled gambas and kidney beans. And as desserts, banana and carrot cake, famous apple pie or banana split.

Leroy Haynes and Marianne Faithfull American restaurant

Marianne Faithfull and Leroy Haynes, Paris, in the mid 60ies in the restaurant of the rue Clauzel

Many music and movie stars will stop here: Ray Charles, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Peter O' Toole, Rod Steiger, Warren Beatty, Sidney Poitier, Marianne Faithfull and many more artists and musicians of that time, signing the Visitors' book and letting the photographers immortalize their presence. Another politic celebrity, The Black Panther Stokely Carmichael also came to rue Clauzel.

 

Bodil Christensen and Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

Bodil Christensen, manager and the muse of the restaurant the rue Clauzel, with periodist Bernard Valery, correspondent for the Sunday News and her boss Leroy Haynes.
Excerpt of Sunday New, april 4, 1976

 

During 1970s, the room service management is given to Bodil Christensen, a tall pleasant Danish who will make the house works with energy. Especially that Haynes is not any more the only American restaurant in Paris.

Most are going to open in the district of Les Halles, then in full transformation at the time of the vast construction site which will destroy the classic arts Baltard pavilions to benefit the conceited and stupid Forum. Joe Allen, famous for his New York style and his squared printed tablecloths, on rue Pierre Lescot, is created in 1972.

Not far from there, Conway, rue Saint Denis with its big wooden lounge, opens in 1976. There is also the nice Mother's Earth, rue des Lombards with its old sofas, wooden chairs and tables bought in thrift shops, not far from the records store Open Market which drains a whole group of rock and rythm'n’blues music lovers.

For the purists, Gabby who still officiates rue Manuel with Richard Haynes as the cook, and Chez Haynes of course with Leroy, always remain inescapable references.

 

IN MY ARMS NOUNOU !!

Leroy Haynes knows another glory, more modest, as a movie actor and extra. We discover its massive silhouette in films as Un nommé la Rocca from Jean Becker (1961), Le Gendarme à New York (1965), Trois chambres à Manhattan (1965), Tendre voyou (1966), Mr Freedom from William Klein (1969), Popsy Pop from Jean Herman (1970) or Les Pétroleuses (1971). He sometimes receives his friends and colleagues in a warm and jazzy atmosphere. Evenings concerts are often going to take place in this Blue Note’s appendix, a jazz box rue Artois, in the 8th, managed by Ben Benjamin.

In the evening of the openning of Les Pétroleuses, both stars Brigitte Bardot and Claudia Cardinale, accompanied with their director Christian-Jaque landed rue Clauzel. " In my arms Nnounou ! " shouted BB to Haynes, her partner in the movie.

After Leroy died in April 1986, Chez Haynes will continue to live during almost twenty-three years thanks to the will and to Maria Dos Santos's courage, a Portuguese living in Paris, which he marries on April 1st, 1985. To give some new breath to the old house, Maria organizes Brazilian early evening dances on Sunday afternoon.

Today, Maria is turnings the last page of what still remains the Pigalle’s soul of the 50s and 60s.

Jean SEGURA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

Leroy Haynes, Paris, in the 1970ies

 

 

 

 

 

   Chez Haynes American restaurant Paris

Chez Haynes,
3 rue Clauzel, Paris 9e

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

Chicago Tribune,
Sunday May 3, 1970

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy and Gabby Haynes American restaurant Paris

Leroy Haynes and Gabby Haynes,Paris in the 1950ies

 

 

 

 

Louis Armstrong and Gabby Haynes American restaurant Paris

Louis Armstrong with Gabby Haynes, circa 1950

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

Leroy Haynes with a
female jazz singer, at "Gabby & Haynes"

 

Chez Haynes American restaurant Paris

"Chez Haynes" street sign,
3 rue Clauzel, Paris 9e

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant

Leroy Haynes, Paris, in the 1970ies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant

Funny and tender Leroy Haynes, Paris, rue Clauzel
during the 60ies, dancing with a baby.

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

Leroy Haynes, Paris, in the 1970ies

 

 

Leroy Haynes Claudia Cardinale Stanley Baker American restaurant Paris

Claudia Cardinale, Stanley Baker and Leroy Haynes in Popsy Pop directed by Jean Herman (1970), from a screenplay by Henri "Papillon" Charrière

Haynes : Walls remember

 

On March 6th, 2009, a few days before the closure of this mythical restaurant, I visited Maria Haynes and we made some shots of this still intact place.

Walls, photos, tables, piano, inhabited atmosphere, such as Leroy Haynes - who had created this place, mixture of Montmartre and Mississippi - left them when he disappeared in April, 1986.

"Good Bye Leroy" to you and to all those who haunted your magic cave.

Jean Segura

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

 

 

 

Leroy Haynes American restaurant Paris

© Jean Segura

Aunt Fanny's Cabin , Haynes’s "ancestor" in Atlanta

Aunt Fanny's Cabin Smyrna Georgia

Atlanta, Georgie, in 1941, Isoline Campbell MacKenna, Orme Campbell’s daughter, transformed a cabin existing since 1890 on her property in a shop of canned food and farm product made in the familial farm.

This cabin was situated on Campbell Road, North of the railroad bridge, not far from downtown Smyrna (Georgia), 20 km North West of Atlanta’s center city.

Isoline soon began to offer soups and other meal made with Fanny Williams'recipes, her parent’s old cook, descendant of a black slave family, now retired.

Aunt Fanny's Cabin Smyrna Georgia

Fanny Williams est une Afro Américaine née vers 1860 qui travailla dans la famille de Orme Campbell à partir des années 1880 comme nourrice et cuisinière. Au cours de ses longues années de service, on finit par l'appeler "Aunt Fanny".

Fanny Williams is an Afro-American born in 1860 which worked in 1880 as a Nurse and Cook for the Orme Campbell’s family. After so many years of services she was called "Aunt Fanny". Fanny Williams was very active in her community, especially as co-founder of her church : Atlanta’s Wheat Street Baptist, and the African American Medic Center of Marietta. She died on November 5th, 1949 and was buried in the South View Cemetery of Atlanta.

Aunt Fanny's Cabin Smyrna Georgia

Meanwhile, Isoline’s Store became popular and, at the beginning of 1940, a terrace was added on the brick ground. That’s how Aunt Fanny's Cabin Restaurant was created in 1941. The legend says that the restaurant’s entrance is part of the cabin where Fanny Williams was born.

In 1945, the restaurant referring as "a place to eat and be seen" began to attract worldwide celebrities.

Aunt Fanny's Cabin 'Welcome Center' Smyrna Georgia

They served authentic "Southern-style" food, the oldest American cooking in a rustic environment. The house was successively enlarged to be able to serve up to 800 clients.

During five decades, Aunt Fanny's Cabin welcomed movie and sport stars, politicians and other celebrities who not only signed the visitors' book, but also left their dedicated photos that served to decorate the restaurant’s wall. Dinner guests were offered an orange painted glass with cocktail (Mint Julep Glass), a souvenir what is today seek by collectors of antics.

Aunt Fanny's Cabin Smyrna Georgia Aunt Fanny's Cabin Smyrna Georgia

The restaurant was sold several times, in 1946 to Harvey Hester and Marjorie Bowman who had kept it during 22 years before giving it up in 1968 to George " Pongo " Poole. After his death in 1989, his widow Gretna Poole was not able to continue. Finally Frank Johnson bought it back in 1992. Aunt Fanny’s Cabin disappeared and the 6 acres domain was sold by plots of land in auctions, finally transformed into luxurious residences.

The 1890’s hut and its 1940’s terrace were dismantled and partially reassembled to make the Smyrna Welcome Center not far from there, on 2875th Atlanta Road.

When he was a student in Morehouse College of Atlanta, a few kilometres away, Leroy Haynes was very well able to frequent Aunt Fanny's Cabin, as far as the house received fashionable sportsmen and as far as he was a local university football champion. Did he found inspiration in these places strangely alike, not only by the atmosphere but also by the cooking, to create his Parisian restaurant? We would like to believe it.

JS

 

Goodbye Haynes, Hello Again Miles

SPIRIT BLACK OF PARIS

 


 

Back Top of the Page



RUBRIQUES DU MAGAZINE Edition Evénements Ventes Expositions Autres