Everyone Knew My Name; My “Cheers” Bar

Theme to “Cheers”

Le VirageIn the mid-90’s, a friend introduced me to a French restaurant and bar in Walnut Creek called Le Virage. It quickly became my “regular” spot to either start the night, end the night…or sometimes both. It was a cozy and unique spot as the video below shows. Beautiful murals reminiscent of Toulouse Lautrec on both the exterior and interior. Private dining rooms in themes such as a wine cask room or a kings table complete with jeweled chandelier over your curtained table.le-virage-mural-6

Lolek and Andreina Jasinksi were the owners and there almost every time I visited. So was Lolek’s son-in-law Eddie, who was the general manager. And then there was Thomas, Matt, and Rick…and all of them always in tuxedos all of the time.

They were famous for serving a Pousse Cafe. A Pousse Cafe was a layered drink served in a glass like this. Rick or Matt would carefully prepare…set one in front of each of us, light on fire and hand us a straw to thrust down into the glass and drink up.

We had so many good times there. And the food was authentic French cuisine and they made a table-side Ceasar that was incredible. Dinners were fancy, rich-tasting, and expensive. And the service always impeccable.

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It was a great place to gather.

I was there just a few nights before they closed in 2005. This video is with Lolek, Eddie, and Rick…and tells the “story of Le Virage.”

Sadly, Lolek died in 2007 just two years after the restaurant closed.IMG_7160

And then in 2012, fire struck the building.Fire

Just the other day I drove by the old site, there on North Main Street. It’s just a parking lot today. It was so fun while it lasted. There was never a place like it before…and never will be again.

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