Hotel du Palais de Cristal

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Today a hotel in Jersey's busy shopping precinct, King Street, would be unthinkable, but in the late 19th century the Hotel du Palais de Cristal opened at 62 King Street, now occupied by Boots the Chemist. There was a hotel there until the German Occupation.

In the middle of the 19th century No 62 was occupied by the Metivier family, who gave their name to Metivier Lane which leads off King Street between Nos 60 and 62. An 1834 commercial index shows Metivier and Co at No 62. The 1851 Census shows draper James Metivier living at Nos 62 and 64 with his wife Elizabeth and five children. By 1861 James has moved his business to No 60 and James Boielle, a 'fancy toy dealer and lay reader' is at No 62 with his wife Elizabeth and family. However, there is also a photograph showing Boielle's shop at 64 King Street

Conversion

Strangely there is no mention of No 62 in the 1871 Census. By 1880 the premises were occupied by J E Hamling, draper, but the following year's census records the building as unoccupied, presumably prior to conversion into a hotel and bars.

By 1885 Henri Richer was established at No 62 trading as Cafe Parisien. It is not clear whether the premises included the Hotel at this time but from 1900 onwards almanac listings show No 62 as the Hotel du Palais de Crystal and restaurant, with proprietor Jules Parison. There is some confusion about exactly which businesses occupied which number, because the hotel advertisement (right) clearly shows the hotel at No 62 and the Cafe Parisien in the 'adjoining' building. That is No 64, and from the 1870s right through past 1900 that building is shown as occupied by 'Mesdames Gruchy, milliners'. It has so far not been possible to establish whether they traded from a ground-floor shop or had premises above the Cafe Parisien.

Things had changed by 1927, when the premises were occupied by Bodega Charles, a public house, which was still trading as Charlie's Bodega in 1939. However, in 1930 the premises are also listed as Hotel Melbourne, but neither bar nor hotel appears to have reopened after the Occupation. No occupants are listed in the 1945 almanac, and by 1949 the business is shown as Jersey House, which was still there in 1955.

By 1960 jewellers James Walker, known as 'The shop under the clock' because of the large timepiece on the frontage, had become established, and would remain at No 62, until it was briefly taken over by Hill Samuel in the late 1980s, before Boots the Chemist opened its second King Street branch, which remains there to this day.

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