It would seem as though Pascal Berthoumieux was on an unfortunate streak. The Evanston restaurateur closed Bistro Bordeaux last April and bid adieu to Creperie Saint Germain on Sunday. “It’s so difficult for a small independent restaurant guy,” says Berthoumieux, who still has Patisserie Coralie on Davis Street. “I know what I am doing but cannot compete with the big groups with deep pockets,” he says.
But Berthoumieux is by no means retreating to lick his wounds: In the coming months, he plans to launch a bakery, a full-service breakfast spot, and his own coffee label—three things he feels befit Evanston’s evolving culinary landscape.
First, he’ll transform the Creperie Saint Germain space into Z Breakfast Club (1512 Sherman Ave.), which he aims to open later this month. Menu items range from très French (boeuf bourguignon Benedict; crêpes with French ham, aged Gruyère, and classic béchamel sauce) to not-at-all French (huevos rancheros; an “All-American Breakfast” combo). Patisserie Coralie’s pastries will also be on offer, as will a selection of lunch items.
To follow Z, he’ll debut Café Coralie (633 Howard St.) by December. The bakery will feature high-end French pastries, including “Paris on my Lips” (lip-shaped lime zest cake coated in red chocolate), as well as Berthoumieux’s own coffee, appropriately named Coralie Coffee. “It will be in tune with the flavor profile of European coffee—a little different from what you commonly find here,” says Berthoumieux, who will pour the coffee at all of his restaurants and hopes to eventually get his beans onto grocery store shelves.
Score one (three, actually) for the little guys.