Craig Carlson was about the least likely person you’d expect to open a restaurant in Paris. A Connecticut native, the screenwriter and filmmaker lived in Los Angeles and had never even worked in a restaurant.
He loved France though and became smitten with the country as a student. He even lived there for a year while working on a TV show in Paris.
But as much as he came to adore the City of Lights, it soon became apparent to Carlson that there was something missing. Specifically piles of pancakes, maple syrup, lots of eggs, bacon, bagels, toast and the endless cup of coffee.
Viola! The concept of Breakfast in America was born.
Carlson opened Breakfast in America (or BIA as it is familiarly known) on January 4, 2003, during one of the heaviest snowfalls in Paris in years. A circa 1950s American-style diner, it specialized in exactly the kind of breakfast food that Mr. Carlson came to crave in Paris — and it was available all day and into the night — an unheard of proposition for the French.
Though there were naysayers in the beginning, Carlson turned out to be right about breakfast. Today, there are three Breakfast In Americas in Paris and loyal customers include American expats, tourists and yes, even Parisians.
In his new memoir “Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France,” Carlson shares his experiences of opening his restaurants in France, including the bureaucratic pitfalls and the up and down roller coaster of emotions.
Carlson will be at Canio’s Books, 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor at 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 to share stories and sign copies of “Pancakes in Paris.”
By the way, pancakes will be served.
For more information, call (631) 725-4926 or visit caniosbooks.com.