DOWN MEMORY LANE Grabbing a coffee at the Mehitabel

Reader David Holman last week asked whether anyone remembered the shop opposite Dolmans in Chichester city centre.

Monday, 1st August 2011, 2:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 7:52 pm

He said there was a door at the side, and visitors would enter to go upstairs to the coffee bar. He couldn’t remember what the shop sold.

DR Shepherd, of Bognor Regis, got in touch to say he thinks he can remember the coffee bar.

It was called the Mehitabel and was run by Michel Le Bourlier who, says Mr Shepherd, was quite a well-known artist in the city.

Indeed, the Chichester City band mentions the coffee bar on its website in a story paying tribute to Jean Le Bourlier, who died earlier this year.

She was the band’s patron, and the story reads: “As a young girl, the family lived for a short time in India, where her father was on active service. It was when he was posted to Chichester in the 1950s that Jean came to the city that become her home for most of her life.

“Jean completed her schooling in Chichester, followed by a course in business management in the late 1960s. She opened the city’s first coffee bar and became the youngest businesswoman in Chichester.

“Following her marriage to the artist Michel Le Bourlier, Jean moved to Paris, where she lived for five years and became very much a part of the art scene.”