In the lair of La Parizza

The small Parizza on Racine Street in Chicoutimi has grown since it opened six years ago. Its owners, Wilfried Feybesse and Alexandra Pelletier, invite gourmands to discover one of the hidden treasures of Racine. The restaurant now offers a large dining room for dinner, a lunch counter and soon a rooftop terrace overlooking the Saguenay.
This is arriving in Saguenay that the head pizzaiolo Wilfried Feybesse, which is of French origin, had decided to go into business. His small pizzeria state then very modest. A few seats and a counter for takeout then proposed fifty varieties of pizzas, mostly French-inspired.

“We did not have a liquor license, only one employee, and I did the dishes in a garage sink! Let’s say that I had to get rid of the image of a binerie, but over the years, we have evolved a lot, “says Wilfried Feybesse, when met this week in the new setting of La Parizza. A decor that detonated with what the establishment offered at its opening, in 2013.

The customer first enters the lunch counter, called The Basket. But it is by advancing a little further in the building that we see the extent of investment and work done in La Parizza. In all, we are talking about an investment of about $ 750,000, once the roof terrace has been completed.

Previously, the space of the restaurant was occupied by an apartment, in which lived the pizza chef. The windows have been completely redesigned to offer a view of the Old Port of Chicoutimi and the Saguenay. The space has been created to accommodate around 90 people. Note that the restaurant is only open on dinner time, from Tuesday to Saturday. The basket is open every day of the week, and the terrace should welcome its first customers around the month of July.

“We really wanted to offer three different experiences, a food and pleasure complex. The restaurant experience with table service is really specific in the evening, while The Basket and the terrace will be more of a friendly style. On the terrace, we will arrange benches, sofas, a bar and ping-pong tables. People will be able to order their lunch downstairs at the counter and eat it on the terrace, “explains Wilfried Feybesse.

At the restaurant level, an impressive cellar of wines and craft beers has been built. Also, a pizza oven, valued at $ 50,000, was installed in front of customers. “We got the Cadillac pizza oven! “Says the 32-year-old restaurateur.

For the pizzaiolo, the basic identity of the business, that is to say the meals offered on the go, had to be preserved, while offering a new experience.

In addition to pizzas, customers can buy cold cuts, cheeses, wines and beers as private imports for take-out. Just eat a dish to access the cellar of La Parizza. The small terrace on Racine Street will also be open during the summer period. Two reception rooms, La Piaule and La Planque, should also be available to guests for the holiday season.

After seven weeks of intensive work, the restaurant opened its doors about ten days ago.

The shortage of manpower does not spare La Parizza. “It’s discouraging, because we invest, it’s okay and we do not miss customers, but we lack staff,” said Wilfried Feybesse. Last week, a hiring day was organized to fill many positions. Only one person showed up.

“We are looking for everything. Divers, waiters, hostesses, cooks; all! And we have good working conditions. We did not think we had a queue during our hiring day, but we were hoping for more than one person. It’s really open to all: retirees, people with or without experience, students, “says the restaurant owner, who is crossing his fingers to hire for the busiest period ahead with the reopening and the arrival of good weather.

Alan Carter
Alan Carter
Alan Carter has been a reporter on the news desk since 2015. Before that she wrote about young adolescents and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Koz Post, Alan Carter worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella.