Throughout the 20th century, bistros were a central part of sailors’ lives. They were where they went to socialize, collect their wages or find work. Often run by the widows of sailors, they were an essential cog in the economy of port life.

Through their numbers and evolution, bistros tell of the social changes of the 20th century. In 1920, there were 400 of them in Douarnenez, falling to 260 in 1956, and just a few dozen today.

The fruit of collective research conducted by a volunteer network in connection with the Port Museum, the “Bistro” exhibition won a regional call for projects, thanks to its innovativeness. It invites visitors into a museum space where they can get behind closed doors and up close with the sea, to look beyond the infamy of the bistros and discover their great social importance in maritime societies.