Immediately after the French Revolution, part of the central area of Bordeaux was rebuilt. New streets radiated out from a market square. In 1825, Messrs Chantal and Despirou opened a restaurant and wine merchant's shop at 7 Rue Montesquieu, next to the Théâtre Français. "Le Chapon Fin" quickly became a popular address.
The restaurant was transformed in 1900 when the new owner, a talented chef named Joseph Sicard, of Catalonian origin, gave the task of restoring the Chapon Fin to an audacious young architect. It was this architect, Alfred Cyprien-Duprat, a native of Bordeaux, who constructed the famous grotto style interior. His remarkable rocky decor was later crowned with a glass roof, and has been preserved to this day.
The long reign of Joseph Sicard at the stoves then began, and the Chapon Fin was frequented by a succession of kings: Alfonso XIII of Spain, one of the restaurant's most faithful customers who had his own wine cellar, Manuel II of Portugal, the Sultan of Morocco, Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar and the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. The Chapon Fin was also a favourite with artists such as Sarah Bernhardt, Yvette Guilbert and Toulouse Lautrec, and politicians, such as Aristide Briand, who adored the lamprey in red wine, and George Clemenceau...
For sixty years, Joseph Sicard maintained the Chapon Fin's reputation as the finest restaurant in France. In 1933, when the first edition of the Michelin guide was published, it was at the top of the list of the first restaurants to be awarded three stars.
A few years after Joseph Sicard departure in June 1960, the Chapon Fin becomes a place dedicated to private receptions only, such as weddings, bordelaise rally…
It is only in 1987, that the Chapon Fin retrieves its original aim as a gastronomic restaurant. From 1987 to 2014, Chefs Francis Garcia and Nicolas Frion succeeded each other.
In February 2011, Sylvie Cazes takes over the Chapon Fin and hands the reins to Brigitte Bugeaud, conductor of this theatre of gastronomy. She is accompanied by a young and talented team : the Chef Nicolas Nguyen Van Hai, who has shown his abilities in starred restaurants in Paris and in the southwest of France, the Sommelier who will unveil the secrets of the restaurant’s historic cellar, counting more than 800 references, and the very dynamic service team.
Today, in the setting of a splendid vaulted cellar dating back from the fifteenth century, a fully renovated private dining room can host up to 20 guests for business meetings, dinners and wine tastings.