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Thread: La Pigeonnière Returns

  1. #1
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Posts: 21,602

    La Pigeonnière Returns

    La Pigeonnière was Jean Magras’ little neighborhood bar/convenience store in Colombier. It was small, mostly frequented by locals from that neighborhood, and opened for limited hours. Jean Magras was old-school St Barth. Back in the day, he and Marius were running buddies, riding the island on Marius’ scooter “Sputnik”. He passed in 2015, and I last spoke with him back in 2007. His children and grandchildren have reopened La Pigeonnière. I wish them much success.

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    The link below will take you to memories of Jean Magras at the time of his passing.

    When I’m next on-island I’ll be sure to drop by for a ‘Ti Punch.

    Tue + Sat 9:30 - 12:30
    Tue - Fri 17:00 - 20:0p
    Sat - 17:00 - 22:00

    From La Pigeonnière’s FB page:

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  2. #2
    LMAC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2003 Northern Virginia Posts: 1,570

    Re: La Pigeonnière Returns

    Jean Magras was a delightful gentleman with wonderful stories to tell. Wish them much success with the new opening.

  3. #3
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 11,317

    Re: La Pigeonnière Returns

    Looks like a fun, unassuming place to wet you whistle!

  4. #4
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 7,030

    Re: La Pigeonnière Returns

    Jean was very proud of his multiple large books in which visitors from around the world, royalty & "commoners," noted their friendships with him. I hope the family continues to add to the pages.

    In 2003, Jean also contributed a fascinating essay to "Case et Cuisine: Traditional Living and Fine Dining in St. Barthelemy." Being unskilled at posting photos, I can't add a copy of it to this message, but maybe someone with a copy of the book, more skilled than I am, will do so. In it, Jean -- a very thoughtful man in what he said -- began his recollections as follows: "In retirement, I find it comfortable to reflect on life, seeking answers to its questions."

    Regarding "La Pigeonniere," I one time inquired of Jean about when he closed the bar. Referring to the local workers that gathered there at the end of each work day, he said, "When the boys have had enough to drink!"

  5. #5
    LuckyKid is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2010 Eastern Mass. Posts: 341

    Perspective Jean Magras, from Case et Cuisine

    With the author’s permission, LoL. And thanks to Wendy for a copy of this wonderful book. (Typos are due to my scanning app) -Peter

    Perspective Jean Magras

    In retirement. I find it comfortable to reflect on life, seeking answers to its questions.

    I was born of poor parents in an impoverished and tenuous rural background. School commenced when I was 6, acquainting me with life to the fullest and giving me a new perspective of respect for others and the value of things. At the age of 13, with a Certificate of studies in hand, I found my earliest work and was paid with a kilo of sugar. Nature was my first love, and a donkey provided my earliest transportation.

    At the end of World War II. circumstances were stark, and I was forced to seek the kindness of strangers.

    My frail and aged parents, of course, gave me assistance as well. | was able to open a small grocery store ... and had a retreat and dovecote as well. Many were unable to pay for their goods, and barter was a way of life. Reward came gradually.

    In years of hard living, I was a fisherman and then became a carpenter, often sailing on schooners to make repairs. The fear of contracting malaria brought me home... and to a turning point. I became a building contractor and built my first home in 1951. Electricity was introduced to St. Barths in 1962, another defining moment for me. The project offered opportunity, including my service in charge of building the first electric grid on the island and, thereafter, the system used today. In a short time, there was electricity all over the island.

    With semi-retirement in 1992, time has afforded me the circumstances to reflect on the abundance which characterizes St. Barths today ... and to foster old relationships.

    Ways of doing things have changed. Modern means cast a long shadow over my little Pigeonniére. Nevertheless, old times are a frame of reference in society, and friendships are sustained.

    My long time friend, Marius Stakelborough, has traveled with me through many journeys. In recent years highlighting the island's culinary development. The good humor and ambiance of our friendship and today’s island circumstances bring us to thoughtful recollections of the past. Though times have not always been as good, there always has been the joy of great storytelling and close ties.

    When the restaurant Autour du Rocher opened at L’Orient in 1965, a new venue presented itself for festive gatherings... and the occasion in which we came to develop good American friends. The fun we had there was made possible by Marius’s scooter (“Sputnik”), the first one on the island.

    In time our meetings moved to Le Pigeonniére in Colombier, my “corner” bar and food store. Topics increasingly touched upon our Swedish heritage, and Marius and | contributed to founding the Swedish cultural society (“ASBAS”) which still is celebrated with exchanges of people between St. Barths and Sweden. In addition to preserving this cultural tie, it opens the door to broader discussions of international matters.

    My respect for the island, its people, our visitors, friends, and change
    on St. Barths grows daily. Marius, like my family, is a source of renewal, and my times of reflection offer great comfort as an aging man.

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  6. #6
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 7,030

    Re: La Pigeonnière Returns

    Thanks, Peter!

  7. #7
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 28,509

    Re: La Pigeonnière Returns

    Reading about this special man was a pleasure.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  8. #8
    GMP62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2015 Martinsville, NJ Posts: 2,144

    Re: La Pigeonnière Returns

    This was truly special reading about Jean and his life on the island, and a wonderful glimpse into the lives of the wonderful people of St. Barth.


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