Welcome to our photo series Eater Scenes, where Eater photographer Randall Brodeur visits some of the city's great restaurants to capture them at a certain, and very specific, point in the day. Today, Beautys, on a Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
It's highly plausible that Beautys invented the concept of the Montreal brunch. At the very least, the iconic diner popularized it. When newlyweds Hymie and Freda Sckolnick took over the old Bancroft Snack Bar in what was then schmatta central — Mont-Royal and Saint-Urbain — the notion of brunch, let alone the word, was vague at best, and nonexistent at worst.
The Sckolnick's luncheonette changed all that. Freda's efficient, workaday lunches morphed over to weekends, and, eventually, now-iconic menu staples like the Special and Mish-Mash were born. Jump ahead seven decades and they're still part of Beautys. And so is Hymie, gracious and affable as ever. The nonagenarian comes into Beautys Luncheonette every morning, greeting regulars, and directing traffic at the restaurant's invariably busy entrance. The Mile End landmark is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, or, if you prefer, brunch.