Four letters which epitomise gastronomy and history.. Four letters which stand proud in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Crossing the threshold of this illustrious establishment is akin to entering a shrine to Parisian life and discovering its many treasures. Every object has a story and has witnessed a succession of French political and literary giants, as well as international celebrities in the arts.
1880 Leonard Lipp and his wife Pétronille Lipp buy the premises at 151 Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Prés. They choose the name “Brasserie des bords du Rhin” as a tribute to their native Alsace.
1914-1918 The brasserie changes name during the war. Customers rename it after its founder and the “Brasserie Lipp” is born.
1920 Marcelin Cazes, a young man from the Aveyron region, takes over the business and propels it to fame. He establishes a set of house rules. At the Brasserie Lipp: jackets must be worn at all times, millefeuille pastries must be eaten on their side to avoid cream oozing out, and pipe smoking is prohibited. Moreover, he has no qualms about ringing his famous bell when discussions became too heated !
1935 Marcelin Cazes founds the Prix Cazes, a literary prize, awarded annually at the Brasserie Lipp, by a prestigious jury to a talented young writer (under the age of forty!) who has not previously received an award. The Prix Cazes celebrates its 80th anniversary in April 2015.
1936 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who disappeared in the Libyan desert during a Paris–Saigon flight, celebrates his return at the Brasserie Lipp. In the early years of the century, several generations of major figures in the literary world grace its premises in succession, including Malraux, Gide, Saint-Exupéry, Proust, and Camus, to name but a few.
THE 1960S TO 1990 are eventful years in the history of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, renowned for hosting high-profile dinners. Among the legendary evenings at the brasserie is the famous Giscard/Pompidou reconciliation, which caused quite a stir. Over the years, the great and the good of Paris have met at the Brasserie Lipp: writers, heads of state such as François Mitterrand, and celebrities including Jean-Paul Belmondo, Madonna and Sharon Stone.
1989 At the request of Jack Lang, a regular customer, the Brasserie is listed on the supplementary register of French historic monuments on account of its famous varnished mahogany facade, Art Nouveau decor, ceramic tile murals by Léon Fargue and ceilings painted by Charly Garrey.