I was talking to my boss about this today. He is leaving the company at the same time as I. He saw this café as well and visited it a number of times, because his daughter painted the Christmas decorations on the windows one year.
He has a project of opening an Italian café and bookstore in Paris once he leaves the company, so perhaps I will have a new story to tell in a year or two. (No, he has no Italian roots, but Italy is his passion and also that of his daughter.)
Another odd moment this week, when I received a package of mail forwarded by my café friend's former high school employer (I am the forwarding address because he is living in Brazil, managing a Lycée Français there). Always included in the mail are items regarding his father, since he is in charge of his father's administrative documents now that his father has returned to Algeria.
One of the documents was the postal voting document for the independent merchants election, which also concerns retired merchants. Since it was my friend's father's café before he took it over, I took it upon myself to vote in his place (particularly since there was only one day left for the postal vote).
It was very strange to feel that I had a tiny say about what to do regarding shopowner's representation in a world that I left years ago.