“One of the largest cultural spaces in France, entirely dedicated to leisure and culture.” The director of the emblematic Quimper Ravy bookstore, established since 2011 in the Chapeau-Rouge gallery, does not go overboard when commenting on what happens in the premises, and in particular behind the doors of the old H&M premises. The bookstore that was sold to the Dialogues group in March 2021 is preparing for a serious growth crisis, six months after the gallery was bought by a group of local investors.
Comics, music, manga on the ground floor…
For the cultural sign, it is simply a question of doubling its surface, with a union between the current building and the one that is being rehabilitated. On the ground floor of the former H&M, a youth club.
“This first set will be designed like a theater backstage. You will find comics, music, science fiction, fantasy and a large space of 80 m2 reserved for manga, highly demanded, which will allow us to better meet expectations”, explains our guide, Jean-Michel Blanc. Here will also be the vinyls, one of the areas of development desired by the boss. “Things are picking up very strongly and we want to give them pride of place. And since a 33cm disc takes up more space than an 11cm CD cover, there will be room.”
…Youth and restaurant upstairs
Head to the first floor. Big very big. About 800 m2 that the workers have already begun to uncover. And that makes room for it. Enough to develop the great ideas that Jean-Michel Blanc put on the table when he presented his project: a place for children with games and educational toys, on the principle of the children of Dialogues in Brest, another for fine arts and hobbies creative. for the general public, and finally shelves for spirituality, wellness and personal development (in the vein of La Procure, which closed its doors in the spring).
Seven or eight hires
“For the design, we are working on the concept of a store with a theatrical spirit on the great plateau, that will have to be seen,” announces the manager. I like to evoke an acclimatization garden where you walk, a beautiful walk”. And at the end of this garden, a restaurant area with around forty seats, bathed in light, overlooking rue du Chapeau-Rouge with a direct view of the cathedral.
In the best of all possible worlds, the boss envisions an opening for the end of the year. “For Christmas, it would be ideal. Otherwise, we are thinking of setting up a pop-up shop in a cell”. Four or five days of total closure of the bookstore will be necessary to make the shelves. The bookstore, which has fifteen employees, plans to hire seven to eight people.
All cells occupied in 2023?
In the neighboring free cells there is also hope. Effectively there would be “keys” to fill the vacant spaces. The owners even envision full occupancy after the first quarter of 2023. “It is a very good location, repeats Jean-Michel Blanc, I have always believed in it. And with the salons that are coming close, we are going to have a new space to live in the city, it is going to do a good job”.