Today I was rummaging through the sale items in the basement of the BHV looking for some shelving brackets and I was thinking about *the old days* when I could pretty much find ANYTHING I needed to maintain our old apartment in this once fascinating and exciting basement. As I was walking up the stairs toward the front of the store, I remembered the old Bricolo Café as I passed the expensive snack bar that replaced it when Galeries Lafayette bought the BHV.
The Bricolo Café was a warm and cozy little place with a fun "old country woodshop" motif in the basement of the department store in the center of Paris. it was recently remodeled as part of a store-wide transformation of the BHV brand from a DIY center that Parisians relied on whenever they moved into a new apartment in the city to just another fashion and cosmetics outlet.
BHV was once the place where you would go in Paris if you intended to attempt DIY. They had everything there. If you had to match a hinge or a door knob to your 19th century Parisian apartment, they either had it or they could get it. BHV was staffed by experts with hundreds of years of collective experience on all things related to decorating, repairing, maintaining and economically surviving in Paris if you did any handy work yourself. They had everything you could imagine, appliances, housewares, draperies and all the little necessities of hanging drapes and curtains, tools of all types, art materials, paint, decorative moldings and on and on and on. They could cut glass to size for a modest price, they provided repair services, tile, flooring and installation expertise for anything from your front door to your bathroom faucets.
Those days are no more. Over the past three years GL has dissolved almost everything BHV was famous and trusted for into a fashion and designer store. They are now just a re-branded branch of Galleries Lafayette and Galleries Lafayette Maison. A great loss to Paris and Parisians on a scale of the tragic loss of La Samaritaine. It's a great loss for us and I just needed to vent a bit.
http://tinyurl.com/d5h4gzm - Click for larger picture.Edited: 15 May 2013, 17:29