Bureaucratic overreach. Incessant construction. Onerous red tape. More and more Montreal restaurants have started to vent enmity over alleged anti-merchant bias at the municipal level. From Buonanotte's recent troubles with the police, to comical permit snafus at the likes of Bar Waverly and Frite Alors!, there are no shortage of recent cases. Now, amid an atmosphere of monumental construction projects, a few powerless restaurants have found a way to poke some caustic fun at city officials.
Located on a now war-zone-like block of Laurier Est, Cirkus, the relatively new restaurant from chef Julien Joré, decided to express annoyance with the city with this creative patio photo.
Merhcants on Cirkus' span of Laurier Est, and indeed, all over Plateau-Mont Royal, have felt menaced of late—borough mayor Luc Ferrandez's anti-car crusade has not sat well with many, and heavy-handed measures such as this sparked a coordinated protest this past summer.
In a show of solidarity with Cirkus, Centre-Sud bistro Au Petit Extra, Julien Joré's former workplace, also took a swipe at the city yesterday (see above). This kind of social media protest has become de rigueur. Over in Ahuntsic, chef Marc-André Royal has repeatedly posted photos and videos of the interminable construction efforts on Fleury, the street where his restaurants Le St-Urbain and La Bête à Pain are located.
"It's a joke," says Royal. "It's been three weeks. No one works there and they completely blocked access from Saint-Laurent. This is unreal. I wouldn't mind if they worked, but there is no one working, nobody!"