Restaurant owners and other merchants in Montreal have long had it with the city's infamous bureaucratic bungles, onerous red tape, and endless, obstructive construction projects. The Plateau, in particular, has been hit hard by this unenviable trifecta, and oodles of businesses have been driven out of the borough's two main commercial thoroughfares, Saint-Denis and Saint-Laurent. The latest quagmire is a $14 million redevelopment plan for the former, which began late last summer and is expected to run until December. Despite assurances from the city that the infrastructure work would ultimately help, not hinder, merchants, some say that the construction has been a disaster for business.
Inspired by mock tributes to the city's burdensome roadwork from other area restaurants, Hachoir, a burgers and tartares concept on Saint-Denis and Rachel, posted the above photo yesterday. It clearly struck a chord, and has since garnered upward of 1,000 shares on Facebook. The staged, bogus patio photo mirrors two posted last year by restaurants on Laurier, another embattled commercial street in the Plateau.
While the photo is hilarious, the problems faced by borough merchants are not. "It's scary for us too because of course we don't want to close, but if we don't have a lot of people coming in because of the construction, there's no parking, we're scared too," Sara Doulkali, a coffee shop owner, recently told CTV. "There's no help from the city or anything. There's nothing that helps us."