Beloved Café Sardine pulled its last Third Wave espresso and served its last piping hot doughnut yesterday. The Mile End coffeeshop, which doubled as Izakaya Iwashi at night, under the stewardship of chef Hachiro Fujise, will now relocate to new digs in the old Green Room and Le Comme Chez Soi at 5386 Saint-Laurent. Meanwhile, Fujise and the Japanese ethos of Iwashi will take root at Thazard, in the old Cielo Tapas at 5329 Saint-Laurent.
The Mile End power move is a Dave Schmidt hallmark. The impressario, also a partner in the likes of Maïs, Datcha, Kabinet and Le Mal Nécessaire, will open Japanese bistro Thazard, French-style cart service and all, with Edward Zaki (BarBounya, Chez Victoire, Mimi la Nuit) in a matter of days.
La Maison Sociale, on the other hand, will mark a departure of sorts but is a project Schmidt has had in mind for some time. The multi-faceted concept, part café, part bar, part restaurant and, indeed, part social club, will sport Dan Geltner, late of L'Orignal, as chef. Notably, the new project, across the street from Maïs, takes over a space that made headlines this past summer when Le Comme Chez Soi owner Stéphane François launched a Kickstarter drive to save the moribund pub.
Expect Thazard and La Maison Sociale to look very different from their previous occupants. Lots more detail to come on both.