Catholic Church to open a restaurant in Swiss town

Catholic Church to open a restaurant in Swiss town

While you may expect the Catholic Church to own cathedrals and monasteries, you don’t expect the papacy, in this day and age, to branch out and become entrepreneurs. However, that is exactly what they have done, with the Catholic Church in Switzerland buying a restaurant in the city of Fribourg.

Restaurant in Fribourg to be run by the Catholic Church

The Restaurant du Cygne (or the Swan) is set to get a makeover of biblical proportions, after the Catholic Church of Fribourg purchased the property in August. Situated in the old Bourg district of the city, the establishment was purchased “at market price” by the new clerical owners, according to local newspaper La Liberté

"Above all, don't imagine a priest's bistro," said project manager Benoît Dumas. Instead of holy water and fresh daily bread, “Customers who enter this café-restaurant will not see a priori that it is run by the Church. It will look like any normal bistro... The change will not be visible at first glance, but it will still mark a fundamental difference with other restaurants.”

Swiss Papal restaurant will still serve delicious food

According to Céline Ruffieux, spokesperson for the local bishop, “This establishment will show that Christians are in the city.” Salaries, working hours and “social doctrine” in the restaurant will be dictated by the church. In all, the restaurant will be used to highlight the Catholic Church's presence within the community and provide a “modern, friendly and attractive meeting place,” for all residents.

However, the church was quick to clarify that this will not mean that gourmet food will be forgotten in the restaurant itself. Manager Pierre Wermelinger promised “a local kitchen” serving delicious traditional food using “monastic products.” The restaurant is currently undergoing renovations, with an opening date set for sometime in 2023.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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