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Soggy summer spoils Paris cafe culture

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 01:19

July 13 - After the wettest June since the 1950s, and more rain in July, fewer Parisians are enjoying the city's famous outdoor cafes. The poor weather is another blow for cafes, already suffering due to the gloomy economic climate. Joanna Partridge reports

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Rain in July - not the perfect accompaniment to French lifestyle and its cafe culture. After the wettest June in half a century, the unseasonably poor weather is hitting Paris' famous outdoor cafes. Parisians are taking shelter in cinemas and galleries instead of enjoying a coffee on the terrace. Didier Chenet is the President of the Hotel, cafe, restaurant and caterers' union. He says the rain has especially affected business in northern France. SOUNDBITE: DIDIER CHENET, PRESIDENT OF THE HOTEL, CAFE, RESTAURANT AND CATERERS' UNION, SAYING (French): "People aren't going to outdoor cafes as much. People sitting outside in France makes up for between 20 and 30 percent of business. So when business in outside seating areas decreases, particularly in relation to last year, that has an impact on our business." The poor summer is another blow for cafes. The gloomy economic climate already means consumers have less disposable income to spend on eating and drinking out. SOUNDBITE: Madame Ren, Passer-by, saying (French): "The weather's terrible, so we can't go out and there's nowhere to go." SOUNDBITE: Julien Janson, Passer-by, saying (French): "Normally it's all about sitting outside cafes, but now we can't." With no end to the rain in sight, the mood of Paris' famously grumpy waiters isn't expected to improve either. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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Soggy summer spoils Paris cafe culture

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 01:19