From a Grande Dame to a Hip Mademoiselle

It’s a truth, alas, in just about any business: young (new) clients are always a good thing. Ask Jacques Loupiac, owner of La Panetière (530 Milton Rd, Rye 914-967-8140), that great French institution. “We’re due for a change,” Loupiac says. “We are too formal for many restaurant-goers.”

To help reach a new, younger crop of diners, Loupiac has enlisted the help of 27-year-old Gady Alcantara of Port Chester-based Gady Inc. Events & Productions ( “We don’t want to completely change what La Panetière is and what they do well,” Alcantara says. “We just want people to think of it as more than a special-occasion-only restaurant.”

The restaurant already has begun that process. It offers a new bar menu (cheese plates, soufflés) and has hired a bartender—a position it never had. And on weekdays, it has instituted a $35 prix-fixe dinner and a $25 prix-fixe lunch. There are plans to install a bar upstairs in the garden room, which opens out to the terrace. On Thursdays and Fridays, jazz and other types of music will be performed. Décor changes are underway, too. “We want to keep the intimate country French look but give it a modern twist,” Alcantara says. “All the little rooster figurines have to go.” Says Loupiac, “To survive, we must oblige to the likings of the modern customer.”

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