The Mont-Royal Avenue burger joint Steerburger Tous Les Jours, known for its cheap, always-fresh-never-frozen charcoal-grilled patties, has closed down.
Steerburger built up a loyal following at its east Plateau location since it moved in four-odd decades ago, slowly morphing into somewhat of a time warp. The vinyl-heavy and rather large interior, alongside the signage out front, appeared to have never been updated since its opening in the 70s — the now-retro feel added to the charm.
Less charming, however, is the probable reason for the closure — late last year, Steerburger was slapped with a $3,500 fine from Montreal health inspectors. The inspection was back in February 2016, but after the bureaucratic machinations were through, the penalty wasn’t finalized until November (note that the company’s legal name, “Tous Les Jours” is used on the city’s site).
The city only offers vague descriptions for health code violations, lumping them into one of several categories, and Steerburger’s fine results from a failure to ensure that its premises, equipment or utensils didn’t mean sanitary requirements for storing, preparing or serving food. (We are reaching out to city officials to see if more precise details are available).
While not a record, $3,500 on one single fine is very high by Montreal’s standards — the fines handed down to other establishments for the same category are mostly in the $1,000 range, but go as low as $800. Here’s a fun comparison: a restaurant laden with mouse excrement (among other infractions) only received a $2,500 fine.
In the weeks following the fine, either in December or January, Steerburger quietly closed its doors permanently. Was it a direct result of the fine? Eater is working to find that out, but the timing seems unlikely to be coincidental, given the restaurant industry’s notoriously slim margins. $3,500 is a lot to absorb for a place selling $5 burgers.
For the record, if you were hoping to get one of their burgers elsewhere, you’re out of luck — the deceptively similar-sounding burger spot downtown called Mister Steer (with a “steerburger” on its menu) has no connection to Steerburger Tous Les Jours.
- Liste des contrevenants condamnés [Ville de Montréal]
- Montreal Sushi Restaurant Infested With Decomposing Mice [EMTL]