Belvès halle, Dordogne

Licensed to spill: a double whammy

This week we signed the papers for our new business property and got the official approval for a bar licence. Our dream of opening a cheese-and-wine bar in south-west France is becoming a reality.

The property we’re buying is in the heart of Belvès, which is officially recognised as one of France’s most beautiful villages.

This part of Dordogne – the Périgord Noir – is stunning, with its rolling hills and yellow-stone châteaux. It also contains more than its share of the département’s attractions.

Belvès, Dordogne

Among them is Belvès, a medieval village that sits atop a hill, beneath which runs a network of troglodyte caves. For us, it was a real coup de cœur.

Our property – it seems funny to say that – is on the pedestrianised high street. Currently, it operates as a haberdashery for a couple of hours a day.

We made an offer in February, but with a couple of caveats. The first is about converting the shop window into bifold doors.

Belvès, Dordogne

The second – and more fundamental – was that we needed an alcohol licence. After all, who’s ever heard of a cheese-and-water bar? It’ll never catch on (and rightly so).

You can only have one bar licence, known as a licence IV, per 450 people. Belvès has 1,400 inhabitants, hence it can have three licences.

All of them were taken, or so we thought. Then we got a message from the mairie that a licence had become available – a hotel in the village had closed.

The hotel is now reopening under new ownership but they don’t want the licence. So it was ours for the taking.

“Now, finally, I believe our dream is actually going to come true”

We’ve had to jump through some hoops to get it, including being invited to appear before a juge commissaire at the tribunal de commerce in Bergerac. However, yesterday afternoon we found out the licence is ours.

Now, finally, I believe our dream – all that we have been working for these past few years – is actually going to come true. There are still many challenges ahead before we open this time next year, but I now know it’s going to happen.

Appropriately enough for two future bar owners, we toasted the news last night. Please raise a glass with us.

This entry was published on Sat, 27 Apr 2019 at 09:18. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

42 thoughts on “Licensed to spill: a double whammy

  1. Wow!..and so begins….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats indeed a nice area of my France. Sure will pay a visit when all done ::)

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  3. Congratulations and Cheers 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic! So happy for you- but were you here and gone with nary a bisous?

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  5. It is a lovely town. We have visited a couple of times and now we will have a reason to visit again. (If we can find a way to get there on public transport.) Good luck to you both!

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  6. Wow! I am so excited for you. Belves is a beautiful village, the perfect place for your new adventure. Bon courage with all the construction ahead. Can’t wait to see the end result. Will have a glass of Gremillet champagne (just bought at the local salon des vignerons).

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  7. Congrats! And good luck with your new business. It sounds a great idea. It looks a lovely village, too. I don’t think we ever visited during holidays in the Dordogne. I will raise a glass to your success (but I’ll wait until the sun’s over the yardarm!).

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  8. P.S. I love the market hall. They don’t build them like that in our immediate area, but I’ve seen one like that in Charroux (in Vienne, I think) and a splendid one in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, south of Montauban.

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  9. If we make it to France this year the Dordogne will almost certainly work its magnetic magic, and if so, we’ll find you. Wonderful news for you both. Sante!

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  10. Already checked the train schedules. Bravo! Time to change the blog name 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great news! Looks very promising! Dordogne is so beautiful.

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  12. Fabulous! I’ll be sure to visit if anywhere near. Congratulations to you both!

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  13. Félicitations! I have a bottle of bubbly chilling and will think of you as we uncork it tonight!

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  14. Congratulations! It will be fun following this next chapter.

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  15. Congratulations to both of you. I’m so excited and I will definitely raise a glass to you. Can’t wait to see what magic you create!

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  16. congratulations we know Belves very well and will certainly go to your cheese and wine bar. Well done.

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  17. Congratulations! Bon courage for the renovations ahead, looking forward to seeing things take shape 🙂

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  18. Good Luck with your venture. I hope to drop in one day

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  19. Looks pretty damn cool. Congratulations and all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wonderful news! Good luck in your new venture.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. here’s to you both and your new challenge/adventure

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