Chef, restaurateur, Francophile
Alain Girard of West Covina died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones after a short struggle with cancer, on December 22, 2017. He was 64.
Mr. Girard was born in Nantes, France on May 17, 1953. A lover of food and people, he left France at the age of 17 and embarked on a lifetime of travel and adventure. He lived at various times in Germany, England and Scotland. Along the way he developed his skills as a chef and took great joy in feeding others.
He arrived in the United States in 1982. He was a participant in the opening or operation of many restaurants in Claremont, Pomona, Glendora and Redondo Beach, including Claremont’s Harvard Square Café (now Bardot), Caffé Allegro, 2nd Street Bistro, Sagehen Café and others. He loved nothing more than bringing good food to the tables of his friends, family and customers, and will be remembered by all for his warm smile and kind spirit.
Mr. Girard met his partner, Nathalie Tran, in 2004. Together they shared many memories and built a happy life together. He could often be seen driving around Claremont in a black and white Smart Car decorated to resemble Pepé Le Pew, or in a vintage Citroen. He was an avid fan of the Los Angeles Kings and of all things French.
He is survived by his partner Nathalie; three stepchildren, Mike Tran and his wife Lourdes Tran; Kelly Kaufman and her husband Joe Kaufman; and Thang Tran and his wife Sungei Hoang; five grandchildren, Amelia, Sam, Clovis, Adeline and Mathilda; his brother and sister-in-law Patrick and Ginette Girard; and his mother and an uncle in France.
A celebration of Mr. Girard’s life and a gathering of his friends and loved ones will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 14 at Bardot, 206 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont.