Alexandre Bastide has hit some unexpected, and unwelcome snags on the way to securing an alcohol permit for his new L'Gros Luxe restaurant. The businessman recently decided to move the flagship outlet of his deluxe snack bar and cocktail chain to the short-lived Le Billot pub on Duluth. This after Bastide effectively became a victim of his own success at L'Gros Luxe's original address on Saint-André street. Noisy lineups outside the restaurant incited some residents to complain to the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough last summer. This resulted in a mandate from the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux — L'Gros Luxe would have to close at 11 p.m. sharp.
Bastide promptly changed tacks. The Saint-André L'Gros Luxe would adopt a vegetarian formula, he announced in March, and cater to a quieter crowd, and the original L'Gros Luxe would take over the former Le Billot, which itself had a liquor license. The new L'Gros Luxe opens today sans permit, however. It seems Bastide's problems with the borough have been resurrected at his new address on Duluth. The restaurateur has a scheduled face-to-face with the Régie on June 29 to sort out the matter. In the interim, it's bring-your-own-wine at the new L'Gros Luxe.
"What do they want? For me to move to Saint-Denis or Saint-Laurent where everyone is struggling?," Bastide asked Le Journal de Montréal. A request for a terrasse at L'Gros Luxe Mile End on Bernard has repeatedly been refused, Bastide reminded the newspaper. "I don't want to play the victim, but I want to start a discussion, because it's discouraging for restaurants, we don't know where to go."
Status: L'Gros Luxe Plateau, 451 Duluth Est, corner Rivard, now open.