Restaurant Le Roosevelt - Utah Beach

The history of Utah Beach : the restaurant
Testimonies of Roger Chagnon, NOIC's veteran

Utah Beach in 1945

Utah Beach in 1945

After the war, a restaurant was built at the site of the cottage. In the building process, the bunker was attached to the restaurant as an extension and used for storage of beverage and other items.
Over a period of time, the restaurant changed ownership several times and was finally acquired by Mr. Franck Methivier, the present owner. The restaurant was known for a while as the "Au Débarquement" and its name changed to "Le Roosevelt" in honor of Brigadier General Teddy Roosevelt Jr., son of president Teddy Roosevelt and Assistant Commander of the 4th Infantry Division which landed at Utah Beach on D-Day within walking distance of the Roosevelt Restaurant.
On June 6, 1944, the 50th anniversary of D-Day, the restaurant was using the bunker as a wine cellar. During the celebration of that anniversary, the two NOIC veterans, Ray Acosta and Roger Chagnon, and their wives visited the wine cellar. Immediately, they recognized it as their "bunker" of 1944. While viewing the interior, they discovered a name of one of their buddies written on the wall and then, a second name was spotted. The sight of these names led to a frantic removal of many wine bottles, until finally, with the aid of a flashlight and candles, a total of about 18 names were found, all members of the NOIC group who were there in 1944. The names were very legible after 50 years and are still legible today.

With the discovery of names, Mr. Methivier has recognized the nostalgic value of having a living memorial of WW II and in particular, a bunker which played an important part in the landing of men and supplies on D-Day and beyond. He has made the bunker an integral part of the Roosevelt Restaurant and has concentrated his efforts not only preserving, but also, in recreating the interior to the way it looked in 1944. With the assistance of a number of the NOIC veterans, the bunker now has radio equipment, photos of the men, pin-up girls, etc..., and memorabilia such as newspapers, magazines, calendars, and music of WW II.
In recalling the epic event of the D-DAy Landings, Mr. Methivier also has many souvenirs and photos of Utah Beach military operations mounted on the walls of the restaurant. Most of the photos are of various scenes taken in the proximity of the Roosevelt Restaurant.

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