Jo Goldenberg Restaraunt

A once symbolic façade now covered with 'for rent' signs, the location of the iconic Jo Goldenberg restaurant is a stark reminder of the gentrification taking over the Marais.

The location of the once world-famous Jo Goldenberg restaurant, famous both for its symbolic nature and its tragic past, now sits empty. The restaurant was opened by Jo Goldenberg, a Holocaust survivor who lost his entire family at the Auschwitz concentration camp, and as such the restaurant quickly became a meeting place for other Holocaust survivors and other former resistors (Chrisafis). Serving European Jewish cuisine, the Jo Goldenberg deli was an iconic landmark on the Rue des Rosiers for years and was noted as "a centerpiece tourist attraction in the famed Marais neighborhood" by the New York Post. It was also the location of an anti-Semitic terrorist attack in 1982 that sent shock waves through the French Jewish population. The attack, which left six dead and injured more than twenty, was carried out by who authorities believe were Palestinian terrorists. The men threw grenades and burst into the restaurant spraying machine gun fire at diners. When Jo Goldenberg, who had been away from Paris at the time of the attack, arrived at his family's restaurant following the attack, he told an interview years later that "what upset me was the pool of blood in front of the counter…I looked at those who were lying on the ground, injured or killed. There was my cousin"(Liberation). Over three decades later, in 2015, authorities claimed to have identified three suspects responsible for the attack, who were members of the Abu Nidal group (New York Post). The rising anti-Semitism in France since this attack has been widely reported on, with French President Macron saying in a speech to the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions that "We collectively and wrongly believed that anti-Semitism had definitely gone away in our country…We must never falter, we will never falter in denouncing anti-Semitism and fighting against this scourge"(The Local). In 2011, a plaque memorializing the six people killed in the attack was fixed on the side of the building, a reminder of the atrocities committed towards the Jewish community in the Marais.

Besides its infamy as the site of a deadly terrorist attack, this restaurant is a prime example of how gentrification is stripping the Marais district from its roots as the Jewish Quarter of Paris. Both tourists and locals were outraged when the restaurant was forced to close its doors in 2006 due to hygiene and debt issues after being taken on by new management. Protesters were horrified at the thought of another massive chain like McDonald's, who tried to acquire a spot on the Rue des Rosiers, acquiring the building in the heart of the old Jewish Quarter. The building was left empty for two years before becoming home to Le Temps des Cerises, a trendy clothing store specializing in denim clothing (Mitouard). The clothing store chose to leave up the iconic red banner reading 'Jo Goldenberg', pictured below, as a tribute to the restaurant. However, the soaring rent prices in the area were too much for the store, forcing the building to become empty once again. According to one estimate, the annual rent price for the 180 square meter space was over 550,00 euros, excluding taxes (Mitouard). What was once a space of pride and remembrance for Parisian Jews and tourists alike now sits empty, with for rent posters over the windows and advertisement posters pasted on the yellow tile. This building is a constant reminder, nestled in the heart of the Rue des Rosiers, of how deeply the gentrification of the Marais district is affecting its history as the center of Jewish life in Paris.

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7 Rue des Rosiers