Germaine BRAU was born at the turn of the century, on the 9th of April 1900, in Saint-Nazaire. At seventeen, she became the cook at an American military camp close by.
In 1925, she stepped off the train at VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-MER, charmed by its beauty. She pictures herself with her own restaurant in the peaceful and sunny spot. Being a good cook, she had no problem finding work.
Visiting sailors, sauntering along the quays, are always looking for a restaurant or tavern to kill time and to combat homesickness. A few beers, a glass of whisky, and a good French meal do the trick.
She opened her first restaurant on the “rue de l’Eglise”, where she met Louis BRAU, a dashing young mountain infantryman, who became her husband.
The citadel of Villefranche, which has now become the townhall and a museum, was at that time an army base, where Louis did his military service.
GERMAINE had two daughters : Claire, nicknamed Poupette, and her younger sister Josiane.
By 1938, GERMAINE and her husband had, at last, saved enough money to start a restaurant facing the sea on the Quay Amiral Courbet, which boasted to more than a few fishing sheds at the time.
After the war, tourism increased on the Côte d’Azur bringing more and more visitors to “LA MERE GERMAINE”. A new era had begun…
GERMAINE continued to provide excellent, nourishing food which forms the basis of any first-class meal.
In 1956, the great JEAN COCTEAU agreed at the suggestion of his friend, ALBERT LORENT, to decorate the Saint-Pierre chapel in Villefranche. He set up his headquarters at GERMAINE’S. His workwasarduous and not always fully appreciated. Some of the fishermen of Villefranche, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Beaulieu would have prefered to keep their fishing nets in the unused chapel !