In what some local Parisians lament as a sign of the times, the city’s oldest bakery has shuttered its doors due to skyrocketing rent, paving the way for increased gentrification of a tourist area near the Opera Garnier.

After 202 years, the Boulangerie Pâtisserie du Grand Richelieu bakery on rue de Richelieu served its last baguette this week, ending a two-century history with local Parisians.

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The owner, Claude Esnault, who has run the bakery for the last 43 years, said he was forced to close due to soaring rent which nearly doubled from €18,000 to €35,000 a year.

The boulangerie sold about 200 baguettes a day.

In a video report by France3, Parisian customers also lamented the loss of a historic landmark, calling the closure a “scandal” and saying that in an ideal world, all bakeries in Paris should likewise be based on tradition and churn out artisanal products.

Today, the area by the historic theater La Comédie-Française has been transformed from housing a handful of butcher shops and family-owned bakeries decades ago to hosting a slew of Japanese restaurants as well as mainstream and high-end retailers.

A shop selling macaron pastries is expected to take over the space. – AFP RELAXNEWS