In 1812, Les Deux Magots was a silk and novelty store installed just nearby at 23 rue de Buci. In 1873, the business was transferred to place Saint-Germain-des-Prés so that it could be expanded.
In 1884, the store was replaced by a café and liqueur bar under the same name. Verlaine, Rimbaud, Mallarmé and other writers then became regular habitués, meeting there in the midst of absinth vapours and cigar smoke.
In 1914, Auguste Boulay, the current owner’s great-grandfather, bought the House in order to turn it into a literary café – making it more brightly lit and welcoming in particular Guillaume Apollinaire and his friends.
In 1933, the Café started playing an important role in Parisian cultural life and later enhanced its literary calling, with the creation of the Prix des Deux Magots, whose first winner was Raymond Queneau.
In 1954, the House’s ebullient activity was in full swing: you could hear Boris Vian play his trumpet, alongside intellectuals such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir who sat at a table working away at her novel “Les Mandarins” (awarded the Goncourt Prize that same year), and Ernest Hemingway smoking a cigar at the end of the room.
In 1973, the House became a favourite background for shooting films, such as “Rabbi Jacob” or the cult film “La Maman et la Putain” in which a few scenes take place in our Café. And this was just the beginning of a long cinematographic participation.
In 1985, the Mathivat family became the owner of the café’s real estate. To the initial beverage activity, Jacques Mathivat added a restaurant business, and signed, a few years later, a cooperation agreement in Japan to set up an outpost of Les Deux Magots in the Shibuya district of Tokyo.
In 2012, Catherine Mathivat, fourth-generation owner, became the firm’s chairman, and sought to breathe new life into the Café by repositioning its offer and giving it new impetus in the Latin Quarter that had become highly touristic.
In 2023, this mythical café took a new direction in its development by becoming an internationally-focused French brand, with a presence in Tokyo, Riyadh and Sao Paulo, carrying out numerous projects reflecting its intention to share a real Parisian Lifestyle.
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