TOGETHERNESS IS EVERYTHING

Published on June 13 2018

*Behind every menu, product and experience, you’ll find passionate people and their stories. Discover these proud Outaouais ambassadors!

The photo above was taken for a special occasion. What was the occasion? The article you’re reading right now.

We could have taken a picture of a dish prepared by the chef or used an existing snapshot of Isabel and Manu, the co-owners, but no, they wanted everyone to be in the picture. That’s what stands out when you meet the staff at CoqLicorne: the team spirit. Christian, the chef, has been there since the beginning of the adventure, as has Isabel, who serves the customers and manages the restaurant. Manu’s girlfriend works in the kitchen.

When Manu and Isabel met on the Gerry-Boulet Stage at the Festival l’Outaouais en fête some 10 years ago, they knew they wanted to work together. And the duo was productive: they directed the Festival de l’Outaouais émergent and launched the Market in Old Hull and the Piknic Électronik. Based on those achievements, you’d think their destiny would have something to do with event management, but another adventure awaited them: owning a restaurant in Old Hull. “We wanted to create a festival atmosphere, like stepping onto a set,” says Manu. Nothing is left to chance: the colours, the eclectic menu, the art on the walls, the cocktails, the music. “At first, I used to spend hours putting together my playlists.”

photo : Sébastien Lavallée
photo : Sébastien Lavallée

The Outaouais, lively and thriving

“What I like about the Outaouais is that you can do anything. You can start something and it happens. There’s room to fulfil your vision. That’s not always the case in Montreal, for example” says Isabel.

“Gatineau has become a vibrant city. Things are happening!” adds Manu. And there’s no shortage of projects for CoqLicorne. “We want to expand, we want to offer a catering service, and one day, we want to build a greenhouse on the roof!” Cultivate fresh produce just as they cultivate relationships with a dozen local suppliers.

What are they most proud of? The people here; the community spirit. Everyone knows each other. For the last little while, restaurant owners in Old Hull have been meeting every two weeks. “It dawned on us that when everyone stays in their corner, it’s not profitable, but when we join forces, it’s gold. We can achieve a lot more.”

Togetherness is everything.

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