Former owner of French wine bar and deli dies age 49

Damien Cabanis who ran Les Garrigues has died aged 49 Photo: Sonya Duncan

Damien Cabanis who ran Les Garrigues has died aged 49 Photo: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A wine merchant who brought a slice of French culture to Norwich in the form of a wine bar and deli has died aged 49.

Damien Cabanis. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Damien Cabanis. Photo: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Damien Cabanis died in Beeston Regis, North Norfolk on Sunday, October 25.

At an inquest into his death, held at Norfolk Coroner’s Court on Thursday, October 29, Jacqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk said Mr Cabanis had lived in Sheringham and worked as a self-employed wine merchant.

His cause of death was given as hanging.

In October 2015 Mr Cabanis, who was born in Brittany, opened Les Garrigues, a French wine bar and deli in St John Maddermarket.

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The small but popular deli served a range of wines from French vineyards, cheeses and charcuterie.

Fronted by Mr Cabanis, who would often be on hand to make tasting suggestions, the deli offered customers the chance to bring in and re-fill empty bottles in a bid to provide a more environmentally friendly way of purchasing wine.

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In 2018, Les Garrigues merged with Louis Deli and after raising more than £14,000 in the space of a month through a crowdfunding campaign relocated to Upper St Giles.

Talking about how Les Garrigues had been received by Norwich ahead of its relocation, Mr Cabanis said: “I was quite amazed how quickly the people visited the shop and then kept coming back and became regular customers.

“The idea was to offer wines at a price which were not restaurant prices and to have wines which were better than restaurant prices. A lot of people have said coming here is like coming on holiday.”

Les Garrigues opened in Upper St Giles in May 2019. In January 2020, the premises was taken over by Kofra Coffee.

The inquest into Mr Cabanis’ death had been adjourned for a full hearing on January 25 2021.

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