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  • Writer's pictureLa Nouvelle Orléanaise

Le Ponton: dance, drink and eat! 

This is the watchword of Le Ponton team, the famous urban open-air dance hall (called a "guinguette"), ranked among the ten best in France according to the AlloVoyages website, and whose article was relayed by Actu Orléans on August 10. I discovered Le Ponton – located at 1, Place du Châtelet – last summer, during a blind test and a dance party organised with the association "La charcuterie musicale". This year, I had the chance to discover the nomadic orchestra Opsa Dehëli who set fire to the guinguette. The evening events certainly make the success of Le Ponton, but not only... There are the checked tablecloths, the strangers with whom we sit down, the homemade hot dogs and fries, the wine list, the breathtaking view of the Loire, but also a friendly and dynamic team that is committed to offering moments of joy and relaxation to the holiday-makers and locals. When I saw the Actu Orléans article, I was already in contact with the team to write an article about the guinguette. The success of the Ponton is indisputable! On August 11th, I went to meet the two managers: Geoffroy – who is also the manager of the bar Les Dix Fûts located at 206, Rue de Bourgogne – and Emmanuelle. Here is the report of our interview.

Geoffroy & Emmanuelle; Le Ponton.

LNO: Le Ponton has just been ranked among the ten best guinguettes in France. How do you explain its success? Emmanuelle: With Geoffroy, we made sure that the guinguette appealed as much to people passing through as to the people of Orléans. To do this, we have composed a drinks menu with quality artisanal products: some local beers brewed by Art & Brew, Hoprock and Brasserie du Vauret; some cider produced in Loury by Julien Thurel; or some natural wine. Geoffroy: As far as food is concerned, everything is homemade with, as much as possible, vegetables from the region, and some meat from the department of Aveyron. The hot dog, served with fries, is a great success, as are our veggie recipes. Our entire menu has been developed by the bar Les Dix Fûts and by the restaurant Glouglou (read the article). With Glouglou, we share the same values.

Félix, the cook, in the kitchens.

LNO: The summer programme also has something to do with it... Emmanuelle: I studied music; so I have a lot of contacts in the field of contemporary music. At Le Ponton, we are keen to highlight groups from Orléans and Tours. Sometimes we have the chance to host groups from other regions because they have heard about Le Ponton. Geoffroy: In addition to music groups, we also host radio shows, film screenings, barbecues, festivals... For example, from August 31 to September 3, Le Ponton will showcase women's creations and initiatives through the Made by Women festival. The programme includes debates, films, concerts and meals. There is an important social dimension to the concept of guinguette.

Les Copains d'sabord et les fils d'Galarne (on the left.); the band Opsa Dehëli.

LNO: Also, Le Ponton team is efficient and friendly!

Emmanuelle: Yes, we are lucky to have such a team! We wanted it to be as equal as possible, and that is how it works. Each complements each other.

Part of the team: Félix (the cook), Paulette (barmaid), Emmanuelle & Geoffroy (the managers)

LNO: Emmanuelle, it's beautiful to see a woman in charge of the business! How did you come to manage Le Ponton ? Emmanuelle: Geoffroy and I have been friends since our experience as volunteers at the Astrolabe. When a new call for projects was launched by the Town Hall for the take-over of the guinguette La Sardine for the 2022-2024 season, it seemed obvious to us to respond, not only because we really appreciated La Sardine and the spot, but also because we both had skills in accordance with the project.

LNO: Geoffroy, how do you manage to run the bar Les Dix Fûts and Le Ponton at the same time? Geoffroy: I was a seasonal worker in different guinguettes for a few years. I really like the guinguette spirit, and this, as much as the bar atmosphere! At the guinguette, we work outside with a breathtaking view of the Loire, we can host musicians, associations,.. It feels a bit like we're on vacation. At the bar, it's more intimate. We have more time to advise customers, which I appreciate. In the summer, when I work at Le Ponton, my bar employees manage it perfectly.

LNO: How long will the public be able to enjoy the guinguette? Emmanuelle: This year, we are participating in the Festival de Loire which will take place from 20 to 24 September. We will have to migrate east, near the Hélène Cadou Garden and the Thinat Bridge. The last event that the public will be able to attend at the current location will therefore take place on September 3. Nevertheless, we will still be present next summer! La Nouvelle-Orléanaise Find all the information on Le Ponton website, Facebook and Instagram. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 4 pm to midnight and Sunday from 4 pm to 11 pm. Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health. To consume with moderation.


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