OCabanon celebrates its 10th anniversary. The age of Reason ? No, rather that of celebrations! The French restaurant nestled in Chelsea introduces Americans to the true meaning of conviviality and reminds French expats of the warmth of family meals. “Over the years, I have met incredible people and that’s really what I like about this adventure,” explains Armel Joly, co-founder of the place, who is preparing for three days of celebration from 7 to 9 December 2023.
Already 10 years of existence for OCabanon, this little corner of France in the heart of Chelsea. The genesis of this place well known to the French is as charming as its decor. “The restaurant was born during a vacation in Rhode Island, explains Armel Joly, co-founder. During a drunken evening, we said to ourselves that it was time to take the plunge and try the adventure in the United States.” The OCabanon partners therefore left their jobs in France and tried their luck in the Big Apple. “I had always wanted to have an experience outside of France. The project presented itself as obvious,” Armel tells us. Another obvious thing: the name of the place. “My partner Alexandre’s grandmother came from Tarascon and she had a small kitchen in her garden that she called her shed. We could ring her doorbell at any time and she would tell us that she was going to the shed to get us one of her family dishes which she had the secret to..
This pleasure of sharing around a good meal is in the DNA of the restaurant which introduces American customers to the simple pleasures of French dishes, as well as reminding French expatriates of the taste of Proust’s madeleines. “This spirit of grandmother is transposed into our menu which allows customers to share dishes together with great conviviality”underlines the entrepreneur.
OCabanon, a restaurant that reinvented itself
Anyone who has met Armel and his teams knows that good humor is also one of OCabanon’s successes. And yet, Covid could very well have put an end to this great adventure. “We were scared but we didn’t give up. We had to reinvent ourselves 100%”, explains the restaurateur. The store launched in 2017 then expanded with the help of Claire and Myline from French Wink and food products were delivered to the four corners of New York. Since the pandemic passed, business has started up again. The boutique area always allows us to offer a piece of France to customers. OCabanon also offers a catering service and organizes events such as the Rugby World Cup or the Beaujolais Nouveau.
French Wink, a boutique with a tricolor look at French know-how
10 years is worth celebrating!
This 10th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate this great New York success and to thank everyone who supported the restaurant: “We will have three events to show the three pillars of OCabanon: an evening to discover the store on December 7 with French Wink and in particular Rougié foie gras; a cassoulet Party on December 8 in the presence of Ariane Daguin de D’artagnan, in the presence of the author Sylvie Bigar; and a family day on December 9 with brunch and music in the evening.”
Three beautiful days of celebration which also allow us to take stock of an activity so enriching for Armel, “over the years, I have met incredible people and that’s really what I like about this adventure.” But what can we wish for the OCabanon teams for the next 10 years? “May it continue with joy and joy in this beautiful city of New York, which always surprises me with its ability to constantly reinvent itself.”
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