THE RESTAURANT COCO BEACH
The most famous cabanon in Nice
In 1936, Jean Baptiste COCO, a trader in natural sponge, opens his cabanon on Nice rocky sea side in order to purify the sponges.
On his twenty meters « pointu », a local fishing boat, named La Marcelle, he also makes good fish catches. And naturally, the Epicurian adept he is, grills his fresh fish for the pleasure of friends as soon as he gets back to « The Sea Swallows ». In no time the place gets known.
Then WWII breaks out. Jean Baptiste Coco is an ardent « resistant ». He is the one who made the first bristish commandos « La Marieta Madre » enter Nice harbour. The British Commandos flag offered by the « Marieta Madre » Captain can still be seen in the restaurant.
At « Liberation » time, the British Navy based in Nice and the US Navy based in Villefranche used to meet on the rocks and bathe under the « cabanon ». Coco would make them « pan bagnat » and grilled fish. The soldiers were conquered by this simple and tasty food and used to tell each other : « Let’s go to Coco’s Beach ! » and the restaurant got its new name.
In the old days, «cabonons » were quite a number betweeken Menton and Cannes. But Coco’s is the only one who has become a successful restaurant. Yet, everything in the place is a remember of the original « cabanon ». Even the menu hasn’t changed much.
That is probably what customers appreciate, whether well-informed tourists, regular patrons or celebrities who come her simply. All hav had, at least once, a « bouillabaisse » (that must be ordered in advance) or a lobster or Mediterranean fish grilled on a log fire.
When Coco retired, his daughter Carmer and her husban René took up the restaurant and since 1996, his grand-daughter Anne-Marie and her husband Pierre faithfully perpetuate COCO’s tradition.
Very likely most Nice inhabitants remember either delicious fish or pan bagnat prepared by COCO. That is the reason why this beautiful Nice district is known today as Coco Beach.