Opening their 14th PNY Burger restaurant in Nantes, France, is part of the continuous learning process, that the owners, long term friends Graffi Rathamohan and Rudy Guénaire, have embraced.
They opened their first PNY Burger (for Paris New York) at rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis in Paris in 2012. And the road to the first one was not a typical one or something they had planned. The two met at the prestigious Parisian business school HEC. After graduation, Guénaire, then 24, went on an almost five-month solo hike from the US/Mexico border along the Rockies to Canada.
Upon returning he contacted Rathamohan and convinced her to join him in opening an American-diner-inspired restaurant that focus on the highest quality.
From the start, interiors were extremely important to Guénaire who wanted to channel his diner experiences during his hike across the US, but with a modern twist. He hired the Parisian CUT Architecture and Belgian architect Bernard Dubois to design the first eight locations, all in Paris. But as they continued to expand, he took the design work on himself.
For the Nantes PNY Burger Guénaire has designed every single piece of furniture and fixturing. The latest edition still evokes the compact American diner aesthetic but with a luxurious, subdued and pastel-hued twist.
Dark wood panelling, a curved staircase and metal accents complete the harmonious ambiance in the restaurant where Guénaire has also added a few nods toward yachts. The partners continue to raise capital and open more restaurants. Their first funding round in 2014 generated a million Euros, the second in 2017 three million and the latest in June 2022 15 million Euros. In the next five years, they plan to open 50 new restaurants in France, Switzerland and Belgium. Tuija Seipell
Images: Ludovic Balay