For reasons of works: Reopening April 2017.

The whole story of the Coco-Beach restaurant (Nice, Alpes maritimes, France)

The Coco-Beach restaurant was founded in 1936 by Jean-Baptiste Coco. Around 1930, JB Coco was a wholesaler dealing in sponges, which he imported untreated from Greece and Italy.  They had to be washed in sea water to “purify” them, so he set himself up on the rocks where the Coco-Beach restaurant now is, and built his shack. He also had a “tartan” called La Marcelle, a big Marseille style craft 20 metres long for transporting wine between Saint Tropez and Nice.

He was like somebody out of a Marcel Pagnol book; his mates and the local people came round to see him in his shack and Coco grilled some fish for them, to be washed down with rosé. He started enjoying a certain success with his grilled fish, and called his shack “Les Mouettes” (The seagulls).

At the end of the Second World War, English sailors based in Nice and Americans sailors from Villefranche sur mer came over to see Coco, who made them pan bagnat (salade niçoise sandwitches), and grilled the fish he had caught.

The sailors used to pipe up “let’s go to Coco Beach!” which pleased Coco no end, and that is why his shack for grilled fish was thereafter known as Coco-Beach. He acquired an international reputation and welcomed some of the most famous people of his time, who had simply come along to enjoy the pan bagnat, grilled fish and crayfish.  He was even honoured with an invitation to go up to Paris to prepare the bouillabaisse at the Elysée Palace for President René Coty.

Jean-Baptiste Coco ended up becoming part of the history of Nice, with the Niçois locals referring to the neighbourhood as Coco-Beach.