Eric Charlet and his wife moved to Portugal, from France, in search of new opportunities in the restaurant business. The aim was to open a new spot in Lisbon and change their life. “We have been living in Portugal for two years, and that was the time it took to find the location, refurbish it and carry out all the legal procedures, as well as the construction.”
From France to Portugal
After running a restaurant in France for over two decades, the couple wanted to “do something different” and move to a different climate. They opened the L’Os A Moelle in central Lisbon. “When we took over the spot it was empty, there was nothing there”, recalls Eric Charlet.
When comparing the necessary procedures to open a restaurant like this in France and in Portugal, he says they are quite similar, as is the paperwork. “What is different is the relationship we have with people, and the way we are accompanied through some of the formalities, which helped us deal with everything required for installing the kitchen”, he says.
They chose Lisbon to live and to start their new business venture because, before the pandemic, times were good for tourism. “Plenty of tourists, and plenty of Portuguese who also wanted to try our cuisine. I think it’s a great place, in terms of the people, regarding our line of business, and tourism”, he adds. Besides, they are close to home, in Europe. “We don’t need to go to South or North America, or to China, we feel welcome here”.
Lisbon: a great place to live
Besides the business opportunities, Eric considers Lisbon a great place to live. “First, the city is incredible. We get almost 300 days of sun per year, it is fantastic. Then there is all the history and the culture, which is very interesting to discover”, he explains.
Looking at the social atmosphere, he says he feels more comfortable in Portugal than in France. “We feel very good here, when compared to France, where the social environment can be a little oppressive”.
When you own your own business, free time is scarce. When he gets some, he enjoys going to the beach. “That is what we do on Mondays. We try to go once a week. It is very relaxing. The beach is only 20 minutes away from home”, he says.
They also enjoy going on hikes, discovering monuments, churches, and gardens. “There are plenty of places to get to know in Lisbon”.
He imagines living in Portugal in the future. “Buying a house, working for a few more years, and retiring peacefully, because we’ve worked enough during our lives”.