Restaurant

Philosophy

Come and enjoy a delicious and creative meal in a friendly and bohemian-style Brasserie, where the carte is continuously adapted to offer the best of the seasons.

Location

The Café Restaurant de L’Écluse is only a 5 minutes’ walk from the main railway station of Biel/Bienne. It is situated on the street « Promenade de la Suze ». Its elegant terrace with its stunning view of the “park Elfenau” will offer a much needed distraction from the hustle and bustle of the city.

A Brief History

1892: This is the estimated date of construction of the building of the écluse restaurant. It was originally built as a watchmaking and micro mechanic workshop by Dr. Carl Ernst Neuhaus. In the same year, Dr. Neuhaus obtained the planning permission to install a lock (to raise and lower the water level; an écluse in French) and a turbine (to produce electricity) in the river Suze. Due to these installations, the workshop is considered to have been the second power plant in Bienne. The building not only provides power to the workshop but also to many surrounding buildings such as the Villa Elfenau, the hospital du Pasquart (also constructed by Dr. Neuhaus), the Bielerhof, the Rüschli and to the Hôtel de la Gare.

1897: In this year the building (which consists of only one floor at the time) is rented out to Antoine Muller and Alcide Vaucher, who decided to open a completely new watch manufacturing workshop called Muller & Vaucher. During the following year Muller & Vaucher launched a new brand called Recta. By 1917 the entire name of the company will be changed to “Recta Manufacture d’Horlogerie SA.

1902: As the demand increased, the company needed to be more productive and a second floor was built to expand the size of the workshop.

1913: The increasing demand yet again forces the company to evaluate their workspace. This lack of space forces the company to move the workshop to the rue Viaduc into a building where the production can double. The company then specialises in military and sports compasses, and these products will end up making the company famous worldwide.

From this point the building on the bank of the Suze will temporarily accommodate an annexe of the cotton wool factory, « paille & laine d’acier » (created in 1908 by a French company, « Les Tréfileries et Laminoirs du Havre”). After the building will remain unoccupied for several years.

1981: The building is bought by the city hall of Bienne, it was transformed into a workshop and a storage location for decorations of the TOBS (Théâtre Orchestre Bienne Soleure).

2005: The city of Bienne sold the building to Francis Meyer (new owner of the Villa Elfenau) and to Christoph Rothenbühler in 2005. These men converted it into a restaurant – “Café Restaurant de l’Écluse”, which opened the same year. A part of the space has been transformed for the restaurant (kitchen, storage), the rest has remained in its original form. Designated as part of the historical Heritage of Bern, it is a peaceful place surrounded by beautiful nature in the centre of Bienne. The building has maintained its end of 19th to beginning of 20th century period style.

2005-2015: During 10 successful years Zeljko Cuic and Mirelle Stettler managed the restaurant and with their team of employees built the reputation that the restaurant has today.

From the 1st December 2015, it is Nicolas Richon and Cynthia Morisod’s turn to carry on with this venture, along with their employees, they are determined to carry on this restaurants reputation and success.

Come and discover the restaurant!

Marco Richon

Sources: Margrit Wick-Werder, historienne de Bienne
Pietro Scandola, directeur du NMB
Francis Meyer