OLD MONTREAL — The official launch of the $40 million William Gray hotel project from Old Montreal's Antonopoulos Group has been set for July 1. The project at 421 Saint-Vincent includes a rooftop terrasse, a restaurant — Maggie Oakes, the company's ninth in Old Montreal, with chef Derek Bocking (Icône, Rosalie) in the kitchen — and, notably, a new outpost of Mile End's fabled Café Olimpico. "In recent years we've seen the east of Old Montreal developing," Dimitri Antonopoulos told La Presse. "The commercial offering that we previously found couldn't remain the same." The new Olimpico boosts a suddenly dynamic coffee scene for Old Montreal; the neighbourhood has welcomed the likes of Crew, Volcanic Organic, Caf MTL, and Système D in recent weeks.
OLD MONTREAL — Meanwhile, Old Montreal's other restaurant group of note, led by Jorge Da Silva père et fils, continues to tinker with its stable of restaurants in the area. As a result, Da Silva's Cantinho de Lisboa at 356 Saint-Paul Ouest, a Portuguese grocery store and lunch counter that just opened two years ago, will soon be replaced by Taberna, another Portuguese concept. This follows other flips from Da Silva, namely Racines/Nolana, and Wilson/Bar & Boeuf/Commerce. The fate of Venti, Da Silva's Italian restaurant that closed a year ago, is still unknown.
THE SHUTTER — It looks as if once-popular BYOW Les Infidèles has closed. The restaurant's phone number has been disconnected, a website is no longer operable, and a Facebook page is down. A tipster reports that the Rachel Est space is for rent.
THE SHUTTER — Maam Bolduc's second restaurant experiment was sadly short-lived. The beloved snack bar and diner, open since 1972, gave Rachel Est Mademoiselle Bolduc just last fall. What could have been a decent poutine alternative for La Banquise regulars has been shut down, however.
PLATEAU — Some good news, perhaps, for the Plateau, especially if you like "sliders and spirits." This, the concept behind Pompette, in the bygone Chez Le Portugais at 4128 Saint-Laurent, below Rachel. Principals Joshua McConnell, Ricardo Spensieri, and Simon Rosson quietly unveiled the new restaurant and bar last week. Pompette is now open daily until late.