"You can't ban me from your bistro! It's my
chez away from
Want to make your restaurant sound like a high-class establishment serving gourmet French cuisine? Call it "Chez X
" (French for "X's
Place" or "X's
Home" or "At X's
". It's pronounced something like "shay"; the "z" is not
pronounced.) Bonus points if X
is either a French name or a French-sounding real or nonsense word. This naming scheme is used in real life
also, although it's not clear whether the fictional trope or the Real Life
convention came first.
This trope is often used ironically, or subverted by being used with a decidedly downscale or inappropriate name. The implication of extreme quality (or at least pretension) is coupled with the implication of extreme cost and social constriction: expect dates or spouses to be tormented by concerns with inability to pay the bill or conform to the Dress Code
. Amusingly, the French term is, in French usage, quite in
See also French Cuisine Is Haughty
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- The card game Chez Geek isn't about a restaurant, but "Geek's Place" does describe it well.
Films — Animation
- "Chez Gusteau" in Ratatouille, though this is justified since the movie takes place in Paris.
- In The Aristocats Uncle Waldo got chased out of "Le Petit Café" for biting a chef's finger during his introductory scene.
Films — Live-Action
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off: The French restaurant that Ferris Bueller and company crash is "Chez Quis", which is a pun on "Shakeys", the pizza chain.
- In The Blues Brothers, Mr. Fabulous is working as maître d' at Chez Paul (a former Real Life Chicago restaurant) when Jake and Elwood pay him a visit.
- In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Lorelei and Dorothy start dancing at a Parisian club called Chez Louis after getting kicked out of their hotel and running out of money. The act includes the famous "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" number.
- In Love and Death on Long Island the restaurant in the Long Island town D'Eath is staying in is called "Chez D'Irv" (after the owner, Irv).
- Calvin Trillin called this type of restaurant "La Maison de la Casa House."
- The Baby-Sitters Club: The fancy French restaurant in Stoneybrook is called Chez Maurice.
- There's a cartoon in Simon Bond's Unspeakable Acts, where the chefs of Chez Poubelle note take their ingredients from the restaurant behind them.
- "Chez Whitey" from In Living Color!
- Frasier actually has "Chez Chez". As well as "Chez Henri" and "Chez Quelque Chose" ("chez something").
- Under the Umbrella Tree has one episode where Iggy gets grand ideas and starts up his own "restaurant", "Chez Iggy"... and the only thing he serves, he's embarrassed to admit, is grilled cheese sandwiches.
- "Chez Ray" is the fanciest restaurant in Raytown on Mamas Family.
- Desperate Housewives had a "Chez Naomi" in one episode.
- "Chez Klutz" is the name of the restaurant run by klutzy people who constantly break things and injure customers in The Amanda Show.
- In a fantasy sequence on Saved by the Bell, Kelly buys The Max (where she works as a server) and renames it "Chez Kelly".
- A "Kevin & James" segment of Just for Laughs poked fun at Quebec language laws when Kevin cited the "Chez James" sign on James's hotel room door as violating those laws. A Montreal police officer (the recurring actor who always played the third man in their segments) told them that it was fine (proper names don't need to be translated, for one) and then ragged on Kevin for being an idiot.
- One episode of Touched by an Angel had the Angels running a restaurant called "Chez Tess."
- The Australian soap opera "Neighbours" played on this, when a pub ran by Cheryl Stark in the mid-1990s was called "Chez Chez" (Chez, short for Cheryl)
- The Yes song "Love Will Find A Way" famously has the singer abruptly telling the love interest his choice in restaurant is "Chez Nous"
''Here is my heart
Waiting for you
Here is my soul
- Dilbert and Dogbert once went to a restaurant called "Chez De Whales", which had a very odd dress code.
- When two office thieves went to raid Dilbert's snack stash, one said, "Shall we head over to Chez Dilbert?"
- "Chez Stadium" (see real life below) has shown up in the comic strip Shoe as well.
- Homestar Runner
- Similarly: The diner "Marshmallow's Last Stand" becomes "Marshmallow's L'est Stand" for fancy occasions.
- Also, in "Date Nite", Homestar refers to a certain "Chez Perez", pronouncing "chez" as "chazz".
- "Chez Pierre's" from Daria.
- Hey Arnold! has two restaurants across the road from each other — the more affordable "Chez Pierre", and the very expensive "Chez Paris". This has lead to confusion in one episode when Helga won a free dinner at one but accidentally went to the other.
- Kim Possible has "Chez Ron" and "Chez Couteau" as two restaurants, the former only existing in the episode "Two to Tutor", while the latter is shown several times.
- Doug and his fellows would occasionally dine at "Chez Honque", with all the tribulations associated. Of course, earlier in the show, "Chez Honque" was a casual diner called "The Honkerburger", which Mr. Honk sold to whoever owns "Chez Honque".
- The Simpsons
- Lampshaded with a restaurant aptly named "Chez Guevara". They started off selling Argentinean cuisine, but switched to Cuban in the mid-1980s.
- There's also the episode in which Marge takes up bowling. One of her dinner suggestions is the "Chez Pierre", but this suggestion is rebuffed by Patty and Selma, who insist on going somewhere "fun" — the Singing Sirloin.
- Phineas and Ferb uses this trope in the aptly-named episode "Chez Platypus", where they build said restaurant.
- On CatDog, Cat once took a date to "Chez Pastrami".
- In "Dan Vs. The Fancy Restaurant", Dan and Elise plot to take down "Chez Puree" for different reasons. Dan wants revenge because Chez Puree closed down his favorite sandwich shop, while Elise wants to take down the restaurant for its expensive and meager portions. Chris has no grief against the restaurant, but is caught up Dan and Elise's plan.
- While not a restaurant, in one episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy the Eds open a sauna called "Chez la Sweat".
- Many a New Yorker has joked about sampling the fine cuisine at "Chez Stadium" (a pun on Shea Stadium, former home of baseball's New York Mets.)
- Applies, of course, to countless restaurants in France, but is somewhat subverted in that these are often simple, "family" restaurants. This naming technique also applies to many bars, often with a "beauf", low-class name such as "Chez Ginette", "Chez Bébert".
- Alice Waters' world-famous "Chez Panisse".
- Want to make your favorite fast food place sound classy? Use Chez + mascot's name. Use a French form if you can! McDonald's is now Chez Renaud. Jack in the Box is now Chez Jaques. KFC is now Chez Colonel.