Father from Champagne, mother from Burgundy, French wine is Adrien's destiny and DNA. This passion transformed into a successful business introducing the refined French production to all of Prague. His newly opened wine and tapas bar called Frenchy is located at Manifesto Market Andel.
We have talked about your entrepreneurial beginnings as a 20-year old newcomer to Prague in the previous interview. Tell us a bit about your background.
I come from a wine family, which is for the fourth generation producing wine in the region of Burgundy. We have a family Château that produces the wine so I find myself as a 100% wine guy. My father was born in Champagne and my mom was born in Burgundy, so that's my DNA.
In my places, we're trying to bring the Southern and Parisian French atmosphere, to bring here the DNA that you find in a very cool version, but with a touch of classy maybe a bit of luxury (but I don't like this word).
"My father was born in Champagne and my mom was born in Burgundy, so that's my DNA.", reveals the owner of several French wine bars Adrien Bricout Photo: Vaclav Miskovsky.
How did you discover what people are after?
We started adding tables to my wine shop, a small menu with tapas, and starting degustation. We created a small bar, the first reservation system, and then our accounting system. Then we found educated people to be a representative. We did all this step by step with a very low budget. And now it's a different story. Yeah, I think we're back on the right track. Having a more personal approach, I was involved even more and voilà, right now La Cave d'Adrien is fully booked like 3 weeks ahead.
What would you recommend to your new customers to try first?
Two options. Champagne with the freshest French oysters, of course. The second option for meat lovers is a platter of dry charcuterie and full-body red wine. Or just start with a glass of rosé or white wine with a cheese plate. The most iconic French combination would be the smooth white wine with a strong Camembert cheese. Everything is 100% made in France, imported directly from farms, fresh non-pasteurized products. And I insist on that.
How do you define the experience you want to provide?
Let's say you like to go for holidays to Italy. So when you come back to Prague, you'll want to have a nice glass of Prosecco. And you know what you want to get. So back to the question, your only homework is to travel. And then come home and drink and eat and cook what you love.
We also have a wine club of about 70 members, mostly couples. We are meeting once per month and I try to educate and share more knowledge with those 70 most regular clients. Those guys are super nice and curious, we talk, have fun and they are the ones that want to hear your recommendation.
How do you manage your time and is there something like work life balance? Any free time?
Sadly no, not so much. I like to delegate as much as I can, however, I cannot really delegate everything, which is pretty tricky to me. I am working 6 days a week, 10 hours per day fully involved in my business. And these hours are just when there is a low season. During the high season I am working almost 7 days a week, 12 hours. So I have a very small private life.
How is your Czech?
I have been living here for 11 years and I would say that I understand around 75% to 80% of what people say to me and I speak 50%. Not too bad for a French guy who has never had a lesson. I Learned all by myself from books and from people around me. So I speak decent Czech with my friends, employees and clients. But some things still insult me. The more I try to speak Czech, the more people answer me in English and I hate that because I am living here and I am trying to speak your language. But thank God most of the people are not like this.
Do you have any favorite cuisine apart from the French?
Yes, for sure, Italian, because my granny is from Napoli. My favorite dish is a very simple pasta with tomatoes.
Do you follow French or global trends or are you creating everything your own way? Is there any trendsetter you take inspiration from?
Let's say both. I really admire the famous French pastry chef Cédric Grolet and my younger friends who built a true empire right now of restaurants and clubs. One of my friends created this kind of nice restaurant that became a club after, called the Indie group from Saint Tropez. And that's what is missing in the Czech republic.
What is the most remarkable trend in wine production of the last 5 years?
It's definitely natural wine. To be honest, I am not a fan. It's very expensive and I don't like the taste. But I also need to adapt to the market, so I do sell two types of natural wines to my customers and I have them on my menu because I need to have them for those who like them. My range is for everyone.
Do you consider yourself protecting the diversity of wine, on the overly globalized market?
By buying wines from a variety of regions in France, supporting the small vineyards.
What are your plans for the future in 5 years from now?
My dream is to have 10 places in Prague, 1 in Paris and more free time.
If you could pick any place on Earth to open a wine bistro, what would it be?
Definitely Paris, because when you leave your country for some time, many things change very quickly, so once you come back nothing's like before, everything changes, so then it's even more difficult to start the business from zero. In Prague you can be famous but in Paris you need to build brand awareness, customers, team from scratch… and not everything that works in Prague will work in Paris as well.
If you could host any personality at your place, and start a conversation around a glass of wine, who would it be (dead or alive)?
Charles Aznavour and Jean-Paul Belmondo. I just love them!
What is your favorite drink, outside of work?
What inspires you?
My French parents and my Italian Nonna (grandmother), who is 89 and I come to visit her whenever I have free time. She's wonderful. She's amazing. Her and my parents are the reason why I got all this education and that wine knowledge.
What do you do in your free time?
I really enjoy sports like boxing, cooking or just being in the forest picking up mushrooms.
11 quick gourmet questions for Adrien
Cook at home x going out? Cook at home
Paris x Prague? Prague
Cheese x Oyster? Cheese
Apres ski x beach party? Beach party
Modern x Vintage? Vintage
Less is more x more is more? More is more
Always on time x never too late? Never too late
Museum x Cinema? Cinema
Beer x Cocktail? Cocktail
White x Red? Red
Merci Adrien! Photo: Vaclav Miskovsky.