M sur Masson, a once-beloved Rosemont restaurant open for a decade, has closed. The restaurant made the announcement today on Facebook. The statement reads, simply: "To all our valued customers, it is with regret that M sur Masson closes."
There are unconfirmed reports this weekend that M sur Masson has filed for bankruptcy. Ex-partner Gregory Duval told Eater that, "Unfortunately, I received the news this morning with much sadness. I don't know what happened. I've had very little news since I left a few months ago. It's a real loss for our wonderful industry and for Rosemont. I put ten years of my life in that place. I'm really sad for all of M sur Masson's team. A huge thank you to all the people who liked the M. A piece of Masson street's history has now been erased."
M sur Masson battled assorted financial ups and downs over the years. In 2013 Duval and partner Philippe Lisack sought protection from creditors, claiming just over $250,000 in liabilities. A settlement was reached, and bankruptcy avoided. Then, last May, M sur Masson was listed for $395,000. It's worth noting that, until recently anyway, M sur Masson was co-owned by Daniel Lacombe, the businessman behind Rosemont's Technopôle Angus restaurants Pizzeria Caldo and Hoogan & Beaufort, as well as Eco-Logixx, Inc., a sanitation, packaging, and food supply company.
Lacombe has come under scrutiny for his handling of another restaurant, Foyer, in Saint-Henri. That restaurant recently closed before the holidays for the second time in as many years, much to the furor and exasperation of employees. When reached today to comment on M sur Masson's shutter and alleged bankruptcy, Lacombe responded that he was no longer a partner in the restaurant. Attempts have been made to contact the restaurant's other holdover partner, Martin Mauté.
In a 2011 review in the Gazette, critic Lesley Chesterman summed up M sur Masson's evolution from tiny bistro to more ambitious restaurant:
When M sur Masson opened in 2006, its team had moved from the wildly successful La Bastide to this yet-to-be-discovered Rosemont strip east of La Bastide’s Mile End location. The restaurant was a tiny 22-seater, which meant reservations were next to impossible to come by, and yet were worth the trouble because chef Jean-François Vachon’s food was just so super sharp. Maître d’ Philippe Lisack knew how to pour on the charm, in both languages, and because the room was small, the ambience of this pretty bare-bones space (the highlight of the decor was the church-pew seating) was electric. Here was one of those rare restaurants where everything was in sync, proving you didn’t have to pour a ton of money into decor and publicity if there was talent in the kitchen and savoir-faire on the floor.
Then in 2008, the next-door locale was acquired (as was a new partner, Gregory Duval) and the room grew to a serious 65 seats. The food was just as stellar, but the ambience was never quite the same, as the new and old spaces were divided by a supporting wall, so you never got that great wave of fun that comes with a large room of revellers.
Stay tuned for developments.