Thionville. After the pandemic, are nightclubs like Le Prince’s coming back to life?

“Psychologically, it was hard. We are left bruised. “Pascal Barilaro has spent sleepless nights over the past two years. The concerns of the owner of the discotheque Le Prince’s, the only beacon which still illuminates the nights of Thionville until the early morning, have regularly darkened our columns. It must be admitted that his branch had cause for concern: during the Covid crisis, nightclubs had bad luck. Classified as risk sites by the authorities, regularly excluded from the phases of deconfinement, they seemed promised to an inevitable end.

“Personally, I never thought of lowering the curtain. Even by accumulating twenty-one months of closure. “Resilient, the Thionvillois reconnected timidly with the night owls: “During the reopening, I had lost 40% of my clientele. The fault of the health pass”. Then the sunny days came back, as did the smile. In July and August, Le Prince’s regained its pre-crisis attendance with peak attendance at 450 revelers noted on Saturdays: “It feels good. But we remain cautious, the situation can quickly become fragile. There remains an apprehension which is also due to the inflationary context of the moment”.

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Boxes avoided breakage

“For the moment, there are no closures of nightclubs in Moselle. The man behind this observation is none other than Christophe Periquet. The vice-president of the Union of trades and hotel industries of the Moselle (Umih 57) made a name for himself during the pandemic. His expertise leads him to show restraint: “For now, the situation in this sector is sustainable. The boxes avoided breakage. State aid, up to 20% of their turnover, has made it possible to cover the enormous costs which weigh on the profession. Partial unemployment has further helped them to pass this course. But now another test awaits them, rather us, all. »

Payment spread over ten years?

Christophe Periquet refers to the hit of the moment: the repayment of state-guaranteed loans. PGEs for friends. The nightlife has massively used it to stay awake: “Personally, this represents €2,000 in reimbursement per month”, confesses the man who runs, among other things, the Irish Pub in Metz. Pascal Barilaro, for his part, mentions a global loan of around €100,000.

“Currently, negotiations are underway to spread the payment over ten years, and no longer five years,” said the head of Umih 57. The measure would reassure night professionals. “We will have more visibility on the survival of certain nightclubs over the next six months,” he predicts. Time to appreciate the impacts of the PGE, this last-minute guest to whom club owners cannot refuse entry…