l‘Ami Louis opened in 1924. It has not changed since.
The original owner was maître rôtisseur, Antoine Magnin. Easily identifiable by the red bandana that was always tied around his neck, he ran the restaurant up until 1986, when at the age of eighty-five, he sold the business to Thierry de la Brosse and Louis Gadby, the latter previously a waiter there. Under the terms of the sale, Magnin remained in the kitchen after the exchange, to be assisted by the sous chef who had been at his side for eighteen years already. However, a year on, in November 1987, he was obliged to check into a Paris clinic for health reasons; a week later he passed away. De la Brosse, who is also co-owner of Aux Lyonnais with Alain Ducasse and who has been a regular at l’Ami Louis since he was seventeen years old, later said that ‘it took me about three years to convince him that I would be a good candidate to carry on his tradition’. He also let slip that the late, great roaster had two real loves in his life, ‘cooking and women, especially American women’.
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