I’ve only been to Paris once, but the effect has been lasting. 15 year old me on my first parent free holiday with a best friend, we did mainly tourist stuff, visiting Notre Dame, a boat trip on the Seine, the artist’s square in Montmartre, and a walk along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. That walk got me into a love and a need that I still have and seek out almost 40 years later; sitting in or outside a café with a cup or glass of something delightful, watching the world go by. This need has often been backed up, in moments or places lacking atmosphere, with a desire to listen to some French café music and just chill out - Check out ‘Hotel Costes Radio’ and the old compilation albums if you want to feel it too! 

Now who knows what kind of music we’ll be listening to at Bistro Marc, but I’ll definitely be ordering a Croque Monsieur as my lunchtime treat! It’s an indulgent, delicious ham and cheese sandwich with bechamel sauce, and there’s a Madame too for those who like a fried egg on top. Of course I had to ask Marc Mole, Head Chef and Owner, what’s his favourite dish? “I love all my dishes! But I do like a good steak or some mussels with fries or my boeuf bourguignon with a glass of red wine, finished off with a tasty crème brulée!” With breakfast, lunch and dinner available, Bistro Marc will soon be a destination for many of us!

It’s quite fitting that Marc met Rachel his life, wife and business partner “on a ‘surprise’ blind date at a bistro in Paris in 2004”. With Marc busy as Head Chef, it’s Rachel who’ll be running the Business and PR Management side of things. Marc used to be an architect, so he’s had quite a career change, he explaines “We moved to the United States in 2011, and as I could not work there as an architect, I went back to my first love and trained as a Chef. It was a great career change!”

Marc is passionate about sharing his love of French cuisine, telling us that he’s “inspired by the ‘grandmother’s kitchen’ food I enjoyed at my local bistro growing up in Paris: good quality French traditional dishes, served in a casual relaxed environment. In France, the bistro is your ‘local’”.  Exactly what I felt on my trip to Paris, and a liking for strong black coffee another hangover from that trip! We asked how Stockport has responded to French cuisine (at the pop-ups)? “Rachel and I have been so overwhelmed and grateful for the positive feedback so far. We have met many local people who love French food and many French people living locally. We can’t wait to welcome them”

Bistro Marc is at the iconic Winter’s building on Little Underbank. I’m sure there’s been a collective slurp of anticipation as Stockport began to hear a French bistro was going to open. “The Council has done an amazing job renovating Winter’s with the Lottery’s Heritage Fund.” says Marc, “Of course, Covid-19 restrictions slowed everything down and there were moments when we thought we would never open. But the beautiful renovations by the Council were worth waiting for!” With the clock   lit bright and back chiming time, we can’t wait to see inside!

The evening scene around the Underbanks and Market Place has grown considerably over the last 3 years (in spite of Covid), with a regular stream of people making their way into town, staying behind after work, or moving in to the new accommodations that are springing up. We wanted to know how Bistro Marc feels they’ll evolve with the evening trade “We are so excited to be part of what we see as the modern revival of the Underbanks area in Stockport Old Town. We hope that Bistro Marc at Winter’s can be your early evening dining venue before you go off to a show at The Plaza or a mid-late evening dining experience before or in the middle of your visit to the other great bars: old and new, that are revitalizing Stockport”

And finally, Dixon (the window dog at Beautiful Ink) asked if he’s welcome at Bistro Marc, and yes, he and fellow well-behaved dogs will be welcome - Marc and Rachel are dog lovers too!

Bistro Marc opens its doors to the public on 17th March

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