Updated: 2013-02-08 09:12
By Lin Jing (China Daily)
Ten months ago Eric Lozachmeur quit his job as an engineer and was ready to enjoy retirement in the southern city of Zhongshan, Guangdong province. But then a drink with Luigi Castagnanova changed his plans and his life. After two hours, the pair decided to open a restaurant together, and Baba was born.
Both Lozachmeur and Castagnanova are food lovers.
"Wine and food is a pretty big part of French culture," says Lozachmeur, 57, from Brest, northwestern France.
Castagnanova, 52, from southern Italy, adds, "For me, food is the most important thing in my life. Enjoying food at the day's end is one of the most pleasant things of a day after work. It is the only time when family can talk, without a computer or TV.
"But for us, at our age, there are not many places in Zhongshan that are quiet enough and can provide very wonderful food and a nice lounge, where people can have an enjoyable wine or whiskey after work."
With this in mind the pair aimed Baba at the quieter end of the market and for all budgets, Lozachmeur says.
Previously a noisy bar owned by a German that attracted a mostly expat crowd, Baba is now a place where customers "can enjoy mild and clean soft music where they can talk with friends, without shouting to each other", Castagnanova says.
They spent money installing a new sound system, which allows customers to adjust the volume in any one of the venue's three rooms.
They also matched the decoration in Baba's three areas -- bar, lounge and restaurant -- to create a more consistent feel throughout.