WHAT A STORY!
by Alfred, the Malacarne family always remained faithful to their hospitality traditions
and undeniable quality through ages.
Follow us on this moving journey throughout times.
For almost a hundred years, the elegant Ruhl Plage has been inspired and grown within the rhythm of a family saga rich in their professionalism, passion and of course a strong and salty personality. Genetic heritage…
Ruhl and Malacarne. Two names inlaid one inside the other on foam lace. Cradled together by poetic clanking bell of pebbles. Their eyes fulfilled with a deep sentimental wave of Azure.
« We have been here for almost a hundred years. It is our home. »
This place belongs to Claudine, Robert, Marie-Jo, Fabien, Thibault, Romain. The house was built by sacred characters. A past with a strong temperament, reflecting on the present, like a bouquet of sea spray with a tenacious iodized scent. Without doubt, this creates a special atmosphere… « A real soul, whispers Claudine. And we want to keep all of that. »
ALFRED, THE FOUNDER
In 1904 Alfred, a former mason apprentice, was a doorman at the Hotel Ruhl, on the Promenade des Anglais. The General Manager, Mr. Martinez decides to create a beach. Just in front. « Would you like to take care of it? » he says to the doorman. The deal was sealed. The management of the pebbles has been launched: a pergola, cabins on both sides. Basta. « To get a sandwich or a drink, you had to cross the Prom’, in this case, take a path, and go buy them at Le Savoy bar, the ancestor of Balthazar. Here, there was no stock. No invoice. Just two employees… »
After three years, Mr. Martinez offers Alfred to take the beach management into his hands. The latter purchases back his shares thanks to his wife’s money. « My grandmother, Carmen, of Pied-noir and Spanish origins, ran La Cave Niçoise, a small bar on Masséna street, on the same place as of the current Maison de Marie. » The bistro was sold. The spouses took 4 years to pay the establishment 20,000 francs at that time.
MODERNISM IS COMING OUT OF WATER
In 1930, the mayor, Jean Médecin, creates the current Promenade. He smashes everything, digs cells for future beach concessions. The Malacarne’s temporarily transfer their brand to Beau Rivage then recover their transformed concession, in which they settle down until 1959, renting towels and wooden boards.
Before the arrival of mattresses, water skis, parasols… Foreign customers adore this place. But soon Azure darkens: here come the Nazis. They requisition the beach, transform it into an ammunition depot, and blow it up in 1945.
ALPHONSE, SUCH A POETRY…
The expansion does not stop here. In the 1960’s, L’Aquarium, a modest neighboring beach, also joined the seaside heritage of the Malacarne’s. « My father did not obtain permission to put up barriers. He came up against the refusal of the prefect Moatti, because he was not a Gaullist, but a doctor. However, we continued settling up mattresses and taking full advantage of the beach », Robert remembers. Beach ceded a few years later in order to buy L’Albert’s Bar, a mythical pedestrian restaurant, housing club chairs as well as a « mahogany bar from the liner France ». From 1981 to 1989 Claudine and Robert welcomes an exclusively chic clientele both pleasant and courteous.
Young, Alphonse could have been called Adonis. A wonder. Athlete body. Actor face. An irresistible type not to fall in love with. « He loved women. He had an eventful life », said Robert one day, evoking the paternal escapades with tenderness. How can you blame such a handsome man? Inhabited, moreover, by a beautiful soul and big heart. « Our father hid and protected Jewish people on the beach, Claudine continues. He also saved a diamond merchant while he was on a bus going up to Auron, besieged by Gestapo. He was fluent in German and knew how to manipulate the occupant. »
Let’s complete the panoply with generosity, a sense of word and friendship, pugnacity, tenacious resentment, a taste for luxury. A whole being. Driven by the desire to build. « The old man » as Robert calls him with affection and respect, worked in real estate. In his capacity, he created Riviera Park, Riviera Plage…
At the end of the 1960s, when the Hôtel Ruhl was put on sale for a million francs, he undertook necessary steps to acquire it, because he had enough cash. « Unfortunately, the state exercised its right of preemption. »
At the twilight of his life, splashed with the waves of tribulations, Alphonse Malacarne would come to the beach every day. He would sit near the door. With his cane and his always proud appearance. A week before his death, in 1999, at the age of 93, he would still remain the mainstay of Ruhl Plage. Passed away on stage almost like Molière.
« We started from the very beginning again and reconstructed everything with a boat side according to the plans of local architect, Mr. Georges Margarita. » Wood, copper, stones, ropes, tasteful decor, raised armchairs as if on a bridge: 1,500 m2 of elegance, professionalism and family passion.
From now on, an institution for entire Nice was born.
CLAUDINE & ROBERT
LAUNCH THE 21ST CENTURY
Claudine always keeps an eye on everything! «I’m here, I’m not going anywhere », it’s vital for Claudine, who started in 1958. Always impeccable. Still in snow white shirt. Train new seasonal workers (« Don’t say hello, but hello Madam or hello Sir. »), eye and ear everywhere, a lot of discipline, and knowing how to give importance to details. This does not prevent her from being endearing and loving her job: « Here, I have seen generations pass by. Our customers are so adorable. »
Robert «he’s cool »… up to certain point. At odds with his sister. Well-groomed by Albert Goldberg, wide-brimmed hat on his head, permanent charming smile. He knows how to straighten the helm of the ship and has made out of Ruhl Plage a real gem, inviting art out of the cofferdams, imposing sailor uniform to his staff. He too, carnally and emotionally attached to his beach. Because of childhood memories, of grandfather, grandmother and father, « who put all their hearts into ultimate success of this family business ».
BEAUTIFUL MARIE-JO AND HER VIRIL TRILOGY READY TO DIVE INTO THE FUTURE
Fabien, Master II in finance, takes care of purchases, congresses, parties. « He managed the terrible night of July 14 with a deft hand », underlines his father. Still related to the beach, in addition « he also pursues his career in finance ».
Thibault, « pro » baccalaureate at Paul-Augier. Excellent contact with customers, he makes them feel at ease. « He knows absolutely everyone », his aunt adds admiringly. His immediate projects challenge him to improve his English and specialize his skills in the hospitality industry.
And Romain, the youngest who has just finished his school years « wants to become a baker », for the moment…