Permanent closures: Addresses that we will miss
The morning after the reopening of the dining rooms, we are taking a moment to remember the addresses who did not survive this difficult period; which, for many in the industry, seemed endless.
On March 14, 2020, it was announced that bars had to close their doors until further notice. The following week, it was the turn of restaurants to close indefinitely. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many restaurateurs—worried about the survival of their business—expressed their growing impatience. The “reinvention” and the take-out formulas were unfortunately not enough to keep some of them afloat. Despite the joy of returning to many of our favourite Montreal restaurants, we are sad to say goodbye to others.
We have compiled a list of addresses who made the difficult decision to close their doors permanently within the last two years; whether due to the pandemic or not.
You will be missed:
- Taverne Square Dominion: after a two year hiatus, the owners were unable to renegociate their lease and have filed for bankrupcy.
- H4C: Dany Bolduc’s cherished restaurant was forced to remain closed by major construction at Place St-Henri metro station.
- Manitoba: After 8 years of madness and pure joy, Manitoba closes its doors.
- Joon: The restaurant that opened at the beginning of the pandemic announced its permanent closure on February 11, 2022.
- Wellington: “It was after a 10-year lease, coupled with personal reasons, that this difficult decision was made,” shared Sophie Bergeron, co-owner of the restaurant. The team will now focus on the activities of their second establishment, Rita
- Cul-sec: After 6 and a half years, the neighbourhood wine shop is closing its doors due to the repercussions of the pandemic.
- Le Petit Mousso: During a radio interview, Antonin Mousseau-Rivard announced the definitive closing of his restaurant, while also emphasizing the harsh reality of the restaurant industry.
- Les Coudes sur la Table: After 8 years of operation at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Fullum, chef-owner Cedric Deslandes announced the definitive closure of his restaurant. That said, the chef has other projects to come!
- Le Bremner: Chef Chuck Hughes’ famous restaurant has announced its closure on June 7, 2021; a decision made against their will following a water damage incident last year. Following the incident, complications with the repairs and the landlord led them to close.
- VV Taverna: The festive bar in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie announced its closure in June 2021. The decision was precipitated by the pandemic and administrative constraints: uncertainty about obtaining a terrace permit, reduced capacity, etc.
- Arts Café: The charming Mile End café closed because they were forced to leave their location due to a 40% (!) rent increase.
- Agrikol: The address announced the closure of its bar in mid-December 2020.
- Pavillon: Closed due to COVID during the second wave.
- Récolte Espace Local: Closed due to COVID during the second wave.
- La Caverne Russe: The address announced its permanent closure during the second wave.
- Pizzaiolle Plateau: The address announced its permanent closure during the second wave.
- Grumman 78: The address announced its permanent closure during the second wave.
- Le Blumenthal: The address announced its permanent closure during the second wave.
- Balsam Inn: The beautiful downtown brewery will no longer be hosting delicious business dinners and happy hours with friends, much to everyone’s sadness.
- Comptoir 21 – Mile End: The Mile End’s beloved counter announced its closure at the beginning of the lockdown.
- Restaurant Su: The excellent Turkish restaurant in Verdun—where chef Fisun Ercan made so many people happy with her fiery cuisine—announced that its closure on the eve of the last restaurant reopening.
- Orange Rouge: The superb restaurant in Chinatown announced its closure on June 25, 2020.
- Maison du Jazz: Jazz fans will no longer be able to sip a drink while listening to a performance on Aylmer Street.
- Coton: After three years on Plaza Saint-Hubert, the concept restaurant is closing its doors.
- Esquina: The lovely third wave café in the heart of the Plateau-Mont-Royal has announced its permanent closure.
- Provisions 1268
- Bar B Barn
- Ganadara: Their bar is set to reopen on the 26th and will offer some dishes from the popular Maisonneuve restaurant.
- Le Smoking Vallée
- Café Coop Touski
- Le Lendemain de veille
- Simply D Liche
- Tacos Frida Village: Tacos Frida St Henri remains open.
According to a recent ARQ survey, if the lockdown had lasted 6 months, 6 out of 10 restaurants would not have survived this dark period. The survey of 1,200 ARQ members also revealed that 40% of restaurateurs think that dining rooms will have to reopen at 75% capacity to reach a minimum level of profitability in order to make it to the end of the year. Remember that restaurants were allowed to reopen yesterday, but only at 50% capacity. Many are hoping for a relaxation of this rule which, if not announced soon, would only increase the number of permanent closures in the coming weeks.
While pandemic fatigue is very much real, let’s continue to respect the health guidelines in order to avoid another compulsory closure; because, as we see here, this could mean a catastrophe for the city’s restaurants and bars, and one from which many may not recover from.
Written by Sophie Monkman
Photography by Alison Slattery