PARIS: One of the Paris cafes where drinkers died in a hail of bullets on Nov. 13 reopened on Friday, three weeks to the day after the Islamist militant attacks that killed 130 people.
“It’s time to get together again, united, to move on and not forget,” said a message on the menu-board at the cafe, A La Bonne Biere, where five people died.
Audrey Bily, manager of the first attacked cafe to reopen its doors, said the walls of the premises had been repainted and the “stigmata of this nightmare” removed.
Speaking in front of dozens of early-day clients and TV cameras, she said it was time to “bounce back”.
The cafe is one of six where Friday night drinkers died when gunmen opened fire with AK-47 rifles as part of a multi-pronged attack involving gunmen and suicide bombers.
At the Bataclan rock concert venue where three gunmen killed 90 of the 130 total, the managers said earlier this week that they hoped to reopen the well-known venue by the end of next year.
Several other eastern Paris cafes and restaurants hit in the attacks hope to reopen sooner as the most visited city in the world seeks to resume normal life.
Finance Minister Michel Sapin said earlier this week that the attackers probably spent in the range of 20,000 euros to 30,000 euros ($22,000-33,000) on organization and equipment, illustrating how cheap it is to inflict massive damage.
Beyond the human toll, the short-term impact on economic life in the French capital heading into the year-end festive period, has been significant, though the French central bank said in a report on Friday it was “likely to be transitory”.
Hotel revenues in the Paris region fell by 50 percent in the week after the attacks, according the Chamber of Commerce business association.