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Girard Avenue taking on French flair

A high-style furniture and accessories store named after two French antique dealers named Pierre is coming to a block in the Village that already has a decidedly European flair.

Pierre Deux will bring its signature “All that is French Country” designs to La Jolla with a soft opening expected by late May or early June in the space formerly occupied by Ark Antiques and Pied a Terre, at 7643-45 Girard Ave., marketing director Naomi Cooper said in a phone interview recently.

The new shop will be next door to La Maisonette, owned by Portia and Jean Marque, and that’s next to Roche-Bobois, the French-based contemporary furnishings store.

Pierre Deux’s La Jolla store will be the 24th store and the fourth on the West Coast, joining those in San Francisco, Carmel and the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. The building, currently awaiting the OK from the city to begin work on exterior changes, is already gutted and being readied for its new tenant, said Bud Fisher of Trilogy Real Estate Management, which owns the 11,000-square-foot building.

They’re talking to other prospects, he added, although nothing has been finalized.

Cooper described the 2,400-square-foot addition to La Jolla’s Girard Design District as a “retail store, not a design center,” although she said they have designers on staff.

Pierre Deux, which has a strong Internet presence, picks its locations carefully, Cooper said, noting that they look at such factors as where online sales are coming from and the type of buyers in the marketplace.

Because one of the important parts of French Country life is “getting together, being welcoming and sharing the l’art de vivre a la francaise,” in each store you feel a sense of conviviality, Cooper said.

That emphasis and its accompanying focus on entertaining can be seen in Pierre Deux’s strong line of dining room furniture, cocktail tables and sofas along with tabletop accessories and gifts.

Pierre Deux, recently partnered with Ankasa, which brings a new line of finely detailed linens and pillows with exquisite detailing and embroidery, she said. They also do a lot of custom work.

Prices range from low to high, press materials state.

“It’s all about hosting,” Cooper added, noting that they also “pride ourselves on fostering a family environment.”

The store, which will have two full-time employees and part-time people depending on the season and demand, will host events that complement its theme that features what a press release describes as “the four icons of French Country designs: floral, toile, entertainment and esprit de bouquant.”

One of those events will be a grand opening celebration a few weeks after the “soft opening.”

Portia Marque of La Maisonette, who is married to a French man and lived in his homeland for 25 years, said she’s excited about her new neighbor. While the Marque’s shop carries what she describes as “sophisticated, casual with a French touch,” she said the stores should complement each other.

Her lines include lamps they design themselves, fabrics that are reprints of antique fabrics, as well as furnishing and a selection of items they’re importing from friends.

Cooper also said the combination should be good for shoppers, noting that it’s likely the stores will be able to draw customers to each other and that they even could partner with them because “we bring different things to the table.”

Pierre Deux’s 10-year lease was handled by Michael Slattery of Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial, who represented the building owner. Brad Jones of CB Richard Ellis represented Pierre Deux.