It was heralded by many as Montreal's answer to New York's Eataly when it opened steps from Jean-Talon Market in 2012. Part gourmet emporium, part restaurant, part caterer, Nicola Travaglini hit the scene in Little Italy with a lot of fanfare (see video below). Less than three years later, the specialty boutique and café is closed—for now.
"We're having a lot of problems with the city regarding our permit," Nicola Travaglini said today when reached by phone. "I'm very angry. We've never been able to sell alcohol and that's an issue."
It was an issue for restaurant critic Marie-Claude Lortie, who, in an otherwise positive review in La Presse last October, cited the lack of wine as a blemish. Travaglini refused to elaborate on his permit troubles but affirmed that he hopes to reopen soon. Travaglini's wholesale food imports business continues to operate as usual.