L’Gros Luxe’s all-vegetarian location on St-André Street looks likely to be shut down for a full month as a result of consistent and continuous noise complaints from its neighbours at that particular Plateau location.
Montreal Gazette reporter Paul Delean writes that eight neighbours complained to the Quebec government regulator which deals with restaurants, the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeu, with the complaints specifically focusing on patrons lining up or floating around outside the restaurant making noise, and the lack of an employee on the door to control that. Complaints also claimed that the restaurant stayed open beyond its closing time of 11 p.m.
It’s unusual for a restaurant the size of L’Gros Luxe to employ someone specifically to control crowds at the door (damn, even bars that size wouldn’t do that), which the Gazette notes — L’Gros Luxe owner Alex Bastide told Delean that would cost around $25,000 a year. But it’s a requirement of L’Gros Luxe’s permit for that location.
Bastide tells Eater that the punishment has seemed to come out of nowhere.
“The craziest thing is that I never got one single ticket [from police] for noise complaints, ever, ever, ever, for music, for loud customers, name it.”
Bastide said a check through police records upheld that.
“None of the reports had any basis, we know that from the police. We’re not ever going to accept this decision.”
Bastide points out that the complaints were likely fairly dated, since they focused on line-ups at the restaurant, which were only common when it first opened back in 2014. He says it’s worrying that a small number of people could force a business to close and put over 30 people out of a job.
“It’s not like I have the whole neighbourhood upset with me and a petition with 500 people, there’s 8 people on the decision...it could lead me into a bankruptcy, it’s insane.”
One other operational thing the Gazette didn’t mention is that even though the St-Andre Gros Luxe permit requires all diners out by 11 p.m. a restaurant would usually have staff on site later than that for clean-up, which could feasibly cause a little noise. One would think a regulator dealing with restaurants regularly would maybe consider that.
So, the St-André location is staring down the barrel at a 30-day suspension of its operations, which Bastide estimated is worth around $100,000 in revenue. Suspensions aren’t unheard of from the Régie, but they tend to be directed at bars, and even then, 30 days is relatively long — for example, Terrasse Saint-Ambroise in St-Henri was only shut down for 5 days for having almost 200 too many customers on site in 2014, and Quebec City nightclub Dagobert only faced 24 days of shutdown for a whole laundry list of issues around drunk people, noise, violence, drugs, and more.
While L’Gros Luxe is appealing — and that process could take months — the restaurant is staying open for its regular hours.
Needless to say, if the St-André location is forced closed, all other L’Gros Luxe locations — including the two others in the Plateau borough — will not be affected.
- L'Gros Luxe handed 30-day suspension over noise complaints [Montreal Gazette]
- Permis de la Terrasse Saint-Ambroise suspendu temporairement [Le Journal de Montréal]
- La Régie des alcools suspend le Dagobert [La Presse]