Looks likes a hipster food block in Paris will not out-Brooklyn Brooklyn after all. Last August, French entrepreneur Cédric Naudon announced his grand plans to open an "epicurean village" called La Jeune Rue (which translates to Young Street) in Paris. There were plans for 36 store fronts that included an organic bakery, an oyster bar, a butcher shop with a library where "people can think about the meat," and a designer cheese store. Naudon had convinced an international team of designers to work on the project, which was also to be built around the principle of zero waste.
However, reports the New York Times, the strange hipster food utopia has turned into a nightmare. Thanks to "backbiting and accusations of mismanagement" among the main partners, there is little to show. Dozens of storefronts remain empty and the project's management company has started bankruptcy proceedings. Suppliers allege that they have not been paid, as do former employees. Johann Berger, a French architect who was put in charge of construction, says Naudon still owes him €400,000 ($452,750 USD).
La Jeune Rue has had troubles from the get go, however. Not everyone was excited about the idea. Many local residents felt that the village was merely a "real estate play." Others were upset that Naudon was essentially trying to gentrify a neighborhood in one fell swoop. A local film producer noted in August, "This neighborhood has ethnic and class diversity, but with the arrival of La Jeune Rue, those people will be left apart."
While Naudon did not respond to requests for an interview from the New York Times, last month he did tell a journalist that allegations of mismanagement and that claims that employees and suppliers had not been paid were false. He added that La Jeune Rue was simply "not moving as fast as we thought it would," but that it was "still continuing."