Under Mr. Briguet, Le Périgord became a family affair. His wife worked with him there, as did their son Christopher, who was a manager for 30 years. Ms. Le Gall, too, worked at the restaurant, for 10 years, along with Eric, Jean-Luc, who is an architect, and a grandson.
“You have to love what you do,” Mr. Briguet told Crain’s New York Business in 2004. “This is my life.”
Le Périgord, at 405 East 52nd, on a dead-end section of the street just east of First Avenue, was opened in 1962 as La Provence by a German chef. It was soon taken over by Ferdinand Desbans, who was from the Périgord region of France and who had been chef to the grandfather of Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Mr. Briguet and a business partner, Willy Krause, bought the restaurant in 1964, but didn’t stop there. In 1969 they opened Le Périgord Park, a sister restaurant at Park Avenue and East 63rd Street; it closed in 1985. With Jean-Louis Missud, they opened La Reserve at Rockefeller Center in 1983; it closed in 2000.
In 2015, Mr. Briguet pleaded guilty to a federal tax charges and paid the government nearly $170,000 in restitution after admitting that he had hid income in Swiss bank accounts. That same year, an employee sued the restaurant for unpaid wages in a case that was settled for $90,000.
Two years later, Mr. Briguet failed to reach an agreement with the restaurant workers union and, having turned 80, closed the restaurant, stowing his 17 tuxedos. By his estimate he had served three million meals there. Today, the space remains vacant.
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