It is for some a meridian canteen, for others it is a passing restaurant, or even a place where we keep good memories, but it is above all, for all, an emblematic place of Sanary.
The Mac’ Sym’s has been an integral part of the landscape of the seaside town since 1984. This Saturday, it will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Because in this year 2022, it has been three decades since Laurent Cierlo joined the establishment. First as a server: “At the time, I was doing the seasons in Méribel as a pastry chef and, overnight, I was offered a job as a waiter.” It was in the winter of 1992.
Since then, the original Sanaryen has almost never left the establishment.
“We were open 24 hours a day”
At the head of the walls since April 1994 (and also of La Plage Dorée, located on the Bandol road, in Sanary), Laurent recalls, not without nostalgia, a time – not so long ago – when Sanary was a place of celebration, where Sanary was a forerunner of beautiful evenings in the west-Var. “We were the first music bar, we did tapas. We were a kind of avant-club.”
Looking for food at an odd time of day or night? The Mac’ Sym’s was there to serve you: “We were open 24 hours a day. You came out of a nightclub, we could make you pasta. In the morning, you could have breakfast, at noon, a restaurant and in the evening, an aperitif. The rhythm was not not easy to hold but we liked it!”
Then, over time, the first worries appear: “For a while, studies had to be done to limit noise, but despite that, people complained every time.”
The end of the night world
Laurent and his partner Bernard Brunet then decide to stop these frenzied evenings, to the chagrin of the regulars: “We are still asked why we don’t put music back on, but I answer that it’s not worth it. It’s a period of my life that is over.”
Today and for about ten years, the establishment has abandoned this world of the night to devote itself exclusively to catering. A more than successful transition.
“The Mac’ Sym’s always imitated, never equaled”
This change of direction is also Laurent’s pride: “On the port, I am the oldest still in office. In all the other restaurants, the bosses have more or less changed.”
In three decades, the grandson of Noune (read opposite) has seen many customers, anonymous or stars, but all have been served in the same way.
This is what leads consumers to walk through the door of the restaurant again: “Some of the clients I have today are those who have followed me for twenty years and that’s a pleasure. It proves that we haven’t changed that much.”
When asked what makes the success of the establishment, he declaims, in response, the slogan of a famous fast food restaurant: “The Mac’ Sym’s always imitated, never equaled”.
Saturday, for an evening, the establishment will reconnect with its glorious past in joy and good humor: “We will remove the chairs and tables, we will put a small buffet with food and drink. We will be there until 12:30 a.m. with music. Those who are concerned will come.”
Then it will be time for new changes. The restaurants located on the port will undergo the same arrangements as those carried out on the Esmenard quay.
And once again, Laurent Cierlo will be there to oversee all of this.
1998 World Champions, David Guetta, Didier Raoult…
Last week, the Mac’ Sym’s was able to count among its customers a certain Michaël Youn. A coming that perpetuates the tradition of stars in the west-Var and more precisely in Sanary. In 30 years of service, Laurent Cierlo has seen a few thousand customers pass. Of course, some score more than others:
We have always been a place where famous people have come.
This period dates back to the beginnings of the establishment, when Laurent was not yet in office.
There were many players from Sporting Club de Toulon like Rolland Courbis.
The most beautiful memory of Laurent in his restaurant is, as for many French people, a sweet month of July 1998:
During the World Cup, it was exceptional. We were always sold out.
And if the party reached its climax on July 12, it was just beginning for him:
I was friends with Alain Boghossian so, at the end of the competition, we were like the headquarters of the world champions.
Frank Leboeuf and Christophe Dugarry, among others, tread the ground of the establishment.
Among the many people he met, he also remembers a world famous DJ:
David Guetta mixed here, he smiled. Since then, famous drag queens, David Ginola, the Cantona brothers, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Christophe Porato or even the 4 × 100m world champion swimmers in 2013 have followed one another on the terrace or inside the place.
And between two confinements, it was Didier Raoult who came to drink his coffee in the early morning.
Despite these many personalities, there remains a slight regret for the manager:
A few years ago, it was rumored that Barack Obama was coming to Sanary. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, he concludes, hilarious.