"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for your support. Boulangerie Clarke has been devoted in serving our loyal customers for the past 35 years. Our closing will be on Friday, July 31, 2015. Thank you." And, with this undramatic note, a Mile End institution is gone.
For 35 years, Boulangerie Clarke catered to lovers of hefty, affordable sandwiches. POP Montréal accurately described the understated spot in its guide to the neighbourhood like this: "Big sandwiches, great bread, fast service, friendly staff, and almost everything on the menu is $5 or under. The smoked meat is a perennial favourite – not Schwartz’s-style over-the-top, just delicious and filling. One of your best bets for a great lunch in Mile End." One longtime customer took to social media to write: "Sad day for Mile End. Boulangerie Clarke is closing. Truly one of the 'meilleurs sandwichs en ville au plus bas prix' for the past 35 years. I'm gonna miss'em. Will likely be replaced with some '$15 for 3 tacos' place. Guh."
What will become of Boulangerie Clarke then? The Reddit rumour mill speculates that a Starbucks is destined for the corner of Saint-Viateur and Clark, others say sushi, but prolific restaurant landlords Danny Lavy and Stephen Shiller, who recently bought out Gracias Corazón down the street, at 75 Saint-Viateur Ouest, have yet to decide or disclose what the future holds for the space. What is known is that the business Pâtisserie & Boulangerie Clarke Inc. effectively changed hands a year ago when Brandon Shiller and Jeremy Kornbluth became administrators. Both were involved, with Lavy and Stephen Shiller, in the Laurier BBQ-Gordon Ramsay experiment. Lavy and Shiller also own the building that houses British pub Bishop & Bagg at 52 Saint-Viateur Ouest. Obviously, stay tuned for developments.