The commune of La Capelle and Masmolène has not had any shops for several years now, despite strong demand for these services.

The plan was to convert part of the village hall into a Bistrot de Pays, while retaining a room for use by associations.

Presentation of the project

The commune of La Capelle et Masmolène (population 450) has not had any shops for several years now.

The renewal of the population (25% in 5 years), the tourist appeal of the area

(Pays d’Uzès, development of the pond path, climbing, etc.) and rapidly changing consumer habits meant that the commune needed to strengthen the level of local services.

In addition to the actions already undertaken (making communal buildings available for hairdressing or co-working activities), the aim was to open a Bistrot de Pays, which is intended to be a space for eating out, selling local produce and providing services for the local population (parcel relay).

The fact that part of the multi-purpose hall will be dedicated to this activity also means that local associations will be able to play a part in the project. A survey was carried out prior to the project to find out the needs and habits of future users of the premises (125 responses).

The building’s central location in the village means that tourists can reach the main points of interest in the commune on foot (between 5′ and 20′), including the pond, rock climbing, Romanesque chapel and restored mill.

A study by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed the interest and viability of this space insofar as the municipality initially made the premises available free of charge.

The LEADER programme financed the improvements and the purchase of the equipment needed to install the kitchen.

Without this funding, the local authority would have had to take out a loan, and the project would certainly not have seen the light of day due to its high level of debt.

Several months after opening, the managers were awarded the Bistrot de Pays label. The place continued to be developed with the creation of a pergola. It has become an emblematic place in the village, with numerous events organised on a regular basis (match broadcasts, Halloween evenings, etc.).

The emblematic character of the project

The creation of the Bistrot de Pays in La Capelle and Masmolène contributes to the LAG’s strategy in a number of ways:

– By creating a space for social cohesion and services to the population, which no longer existed in the village;

– By combining in a single building the functions of a town hall, a multi-purpose hall and a local bistro, thereby creating synergies between local and regional players (residents, elected representatives, farmers, tourism professionals and associations);

– By highlighting a natural and landscape cultural heritage that is already well known (Natura 2000 pond, climbing wall) or yet to be discovered (chapel, mill, Gardois garrigues, etc.).


Commune de la Capelle et Masmolène