From the beginning Le Grand Café has held artist residencies, and in recent years has also hosted researchers, curators and art critics.

The emphasis of Le Grand Café – contemporary art centre is on producing specific projects attuned to its surroundings. In particular, it prefers to give longer-term support to artists through residencies, allowing them to build large-scale projects that frequently draw upon their environment. Saint-Nazaire offers a fascinating and complex terrain where the progressive transformation of a town – tool of industrial production – into diverse retail, leisure and residential zones is reaching its conclusion in full sight,

The art centre offers three types of residency: creative residencies, research residencies within the structure Substrat, and writing residencies.