Venice, the new California-style restaurant from entrepreneur Charles Manceau, of Griffintown's Nini Meatball House, is almost a go. The health food focused spot replaces the bygone Casa de Mateo, a mainstay in Old Montreal for decades. The Mexican-ish restaurant mysteriously closed last fall. Its replacement will serve what Manceau calls "raw and healthy food", with a "California-style menu and interior design." Early menu hints include tuna poke toast, avocado and egg toast, açaí bowls, salads, tacos, and a lot of juices. (There is St-Ambroise and Kronenbourg on tap too.) As you can see from the photos, the makeover of the St-François-Xavier street space has been significant.
Venice will occupy just part of the old Casa de Mateo. A next door bar and a lower level speakeasy-style bar are also in the works. "It will be two different addresses since I'm closing down the walls between the restaurant and the bar," explained Manceau this past January. The restaurateur hopes to open the bars by spring, or summer, at the latest.