UNUSUAL. A former train station transformed into a Mecca of Italian gastronomy

Sold in 2019 to two investors, the former Guebwiller station in the Upper Rhine has been converted into a Mecca of Italian gastronomy. “L’Antica Stazione” opens its doors on 4 November 2022 and promises to delight the taste buds of many Alsatians.

An announcement that delights the taste buds … An Italian gastronomic center opens its doors on November 4th, at the entrance to the village of Guebwiller. Located in the old station, dating back to 1870, the place has been completely renovated to house a restaurant, a delicatessen, a dairy, a wine shop and even a tea room. To maintain the prestige of this building of 500 m2the owners baptized it “L’Antica Stazione” (old station in Italian).

This almost titanic project is Cathy Colombo who came up with the idea. “I had been thinking about it for about ten years after a trip to Italy that I made with my husband from there.“, says the manager of the center. She then discovers a”sweet life“he falls in love with.”It is beautiful, because it is an open-air museum“, He adds.

But his wise tourist eye is mainly focused on Italian gastronomy, which he describes as “tasty“. Then she returned to France with only one idea in mind: to reproduce the carefree Italian style she experienced during her trip.”It is an art of living in Italy, they take the time to talk to each other“, confirmation.

It immediately seduced me because it is a romantic place that invites you to travel “

Cathy Colombo, head of the Ancient Station

So in search of a pied-à-terre to create a place that would pay homage to the Peninsula, she stopped in Guebwiller to visit a pastry chef she knew. The latter, who was doing work on her premises, had been moved to the old town station. She then informs Cathy that the building is for sale by the City Hall. “It immediately seduced me because it is a romantic place that invites you to travel“Explains the Bas-Rhinoise of origin.

The town hall had in fact, in 2018, auctioned the place with a base price set at 250,000 euros. The announcement, published at the time on the Leboncoin website, then captured the attention of many onlookers. In the meantime, Cathy Colombo decides to submit an application to present her project, putting Italian gastronomy in the spotlight.

We had seven questions for the sale“, indicates Francis Kleitz, Mayor of Guebwiller. To select the lucky one, the municipality had specific specifications that correspond to the situation of the building located at the entrance to the city.”The selected project had to respond first of all to our desire to create a space of conviviality“, He adds.

The city hall also wanted an investor who “put the necessary means to ensure the correct renovation of the building“This is what Cathy did after being selected on June 19, 2019 by the City Council.

Despite delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, renovations, including the station’s old glass roof, have just been completed. An important investment of 2.3 million euros which includes the purchase of the venue and interior furnishings. “We clearly made the right choice. Cathy has exceeded our expectations because it has become a magical place“, The mayor smiles.

In this place of haute cuisine, which already employs 17 full-time people, a delicatessen has replaced the central hall of the station. Almost 80 Italian products are offered to customers on the stalls and there is something for all tastes. “For example we have pasta from the municipality of Campofilone, others that are made with Senatore Cappelli organic wheat which is more digestible.“, Explains the owner of the restaurant.

The curious can also discover the olive oil coming directly from the Italian region of Umbria. “We have been looking for products from every region for three years“explains Cathy, who herself went to meet local producers in Italy. So 140 foods were selected. 120 of them were then selected by the manager. 80 products will be presented for the inauguration before offering the entire selection. to customers.

For its part, the bar will act as a real Italian café and will be open from 7 am to welcome customers before leaving for work. To maintain authenticity and make you travel to the land of the “dolce vita”, the platform of the station remains in direct access from the bar, and could become a stopping point for a future tram train, indicates the town hall.

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