The co-owner of Montreal's historic Mount Stephen Club confirms today that Oliver & Bonacini—the Toronto restaurant group behind Canoe, Bannock, Luma, and others—will take charge of food and beverage services when the property completes its boutique hotel metamorphosis next April or May. "Oliver & Bonacini does an incredible job in Toronto. We started talking to them over a year and a half ago," says Mike Yuval. The developer purchased the venerable George Stephen House at 1440 Drummond a decade ago with Jack Sofer, his business partner in Tidan Inc., a real estate and hospitality group. Built in the 1880s, the Renaissance Revival, Golden Square Mile mansion was declared a National Historic Site in 1971. From 1926 to 2011 the property housed the Mount Stephen gentlemen's club. Architect William Tutin Thomas also designed Montreal's St. George's Anglican Church, and the Shaughnessy House, now part of the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
"We invested a lot of money to refurbish the architecture, improve the heating, add air conditioning, and so on," adds Yuval. "Then three years ago we made a decision to turn the outdoor parking lot in the back into a boutique hotel with 90 rooms." Hôtel Mount Stephen will operate under the Leading Hotels of the World banner. Oliver & Bonacini's food and beverage role will extend to a restaurant, two bars, a garden patio, a new banquet hall fit for 300 to 400 people, and five to six "mini banquet rooms", as Yuval calls them, in the original George Stephen House. The company's president, Andrew Oliver, adds that “O&B is excited to partner with Tidan Inc. on Hôtel Mount Stephen, and be involved in Montreal’s amazing dining scene. As with any project as large as this, we’re still working through details and will share more information in the near future.” Stay tuned.