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Ransacked in 'yellow vest' riot, chic Fouquet's eatery reopens in Paris

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By Reuters
Ransacked in 'yellow vest' riot, chic Fouquet's eatery reopens in Paris
FILE PHOTO: A protester throws a bottle at Le Fouquet's restaurant on the Champs Elysees during a demonstration by the "yellow vests" movement in Paris, France, March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer   -   Copyright  Philippe Wojazer(Reuters)

<p><span class="caps">PARIS</span> (Reuters) – France’s famed Le Fouquet’s brasserie on the Champs Elysees avenue reopened on Saturday, four months after the chic eatery was ransacked by rioters during a yellow vest protest that turned violent with several shops on the avenue destroyed.</p> <p>On March 16 protesters torched the restaurant’s famous red awning and trashed the interior, during one of a series of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies and a government seen as out of touch.</p> <p>The gourmet restaurant, founded in 1899, is famous in France as the venue for a glitzy dinner celebrating former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election victory – an event widely criticised at the time. It also hosts the annual gala dinner following the Cesar cinema awards.</p> <p>The restoration work has reproduced the plush red and black interior exactly as it was. General manager Geraldine Dobey declined to comment on the cost.</p> <p>“I think because we’re so renowned, beyond the borders of France, internationally, because we’re part of Parisian life, I think that explains why the damage had such an impact,” she told journalists.</p> <p>The number of yellow vest protesters, named for the motorists’ high-visibility jackets they wear, has dwindled to a few hundreds over the past weeks from a high of around 300,000 nationwide in November.</p> <p>Le Fouquet’s will be open to customers on Sunday, coinciding with France’s Bastille Day military parade which passes in front of its doors. Yellow vest protesters have said they will attend.</p> <p/> <p> (Reporting by Johnny Cotton; Editing by Bate Felix and Ros Russell)</p>