NDG — Sherbrooke Street’s Coyote Ugly-style bar Jersey’s Saloon is no longer: the controversial bar has been rebranded as the much more family-friendly Rustik Pub & Grill. Jersey’s Saloon opened in April 2016, leaning heavily on a “sexy cowgirl” aesthetic, which led city councillor Peter McQueen and others to complain that the bar was ill-suited to the neighbourhood (apparently forgetting that seedy venues have long come and gone from NDG). That in turn led to a lawsuit from bar owner Peter Sergakis (who owns other venues like Station des Sports) in response to McQueen’s description of Jersey’s Saloon as a “sex bar”; the lawsuit was thrown out. Now, McQueen finally gets his way as the body shots and exposed midriffs seem to have been turfed out in favour of a tamer, more restaurant-style venue. Sergakis is still the owner; Rustik has simply converted over the old Jersey’s Saloon social media handles. (It also looks like the gay version of Jersey’s Saloon, at Sergakis’ Complexe Sky, has been left to fade away, too.)
OLD MONTREAL — After just a few months open, “Canadian brasserie” Rockwood has lost chef Adam Aspelund, who has left the restaurant scene to work as a private chef.
DOWNTOWN — Hotel restaurant with a very “urban” design scheme Ê.A.T. (Être Avec Toi) has a new executive chef — French import Gregory Faye is on board there. Faye started out as sous-chef for Maison Boulud back when it opened, and has since held the same position at Bistro La Fabrique and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
MILE END — Doughnut champ Chez Boris (rest in peace) is back from the dead to denounce Quebec’s Bill 62, banning people receiving public services (including attending university classes, or riding the bus) from wearing any type of face covering.
Bill 62 promotes ignorance, tribalism and fear. Please love your neighbours and tell your representative that you... https://t.co/2Llfhw41Ic— Boris (@ChezBorisMTL) October 18, 2017
MILE-EX — The closure of charcuterie and wine spot Le Comptoir was a sad one, but chef Ségué Lepage and sommelier Laurence Dufour are doing a one-night-only pop-up at Manitoba, Monday October 30.
DOWNTOWN — Coffee giant Starbucks is testing out its new faster-service café model in Central Station. At Starbucks Express, cashiers writing names on cups are out, electronic ordering is in, and a shorter menu is on offer to churn customers in and out rapidly — it’s only the second of its kind in Canada and the seventh since Starbucks started experimenting in New York in 2015.
ROSEMONT — Masson barbecue spot Le Boucan is now serving weekend brunch, with a rather meaty set of foods on offer.
DOWNTOWN — Villeray’s Le Gras Dur have always been known for slightly excessive food promotions like all-you-can-eat poutine, now they’re trying it on for size at their slightly more formal restaurant Vladimir Poutine, with all-you-can-eat snacks on their Thursday 5 à 7. Oh, and in honour of Canada’s forthcoming marijuana legalization, they’re also trying out a “pot poutine” (made with hemp, since weed isn’t actually legal yet) at the Villeray location, garnering a flurry of free press.
ALL OVER — Debate over tipping culture has been all the rage lately (with the advent of two no-tipping restaurants), and here’s a little more fuel for the fire: Quebec’s restaurant association ran a poll, and found that 77 per cent of respondents believe tips should be shared between all staff in a restaurant. Restaurants in Quebec typically have widely varying policies on how tips are shared with kitchen staff, if they are shared at all.
- Bar Owner Peter Sergakis Pulls Sexy Video for Jersey's Saloon [EMTL]
- Judge Says Description of Sexy NDG Saloon as “Sex Bar” Is Totally Fair [EMTL]
- Peter Sergakis Plans Gay Coyote Ugly-Themed Bar [EMTL]
- Rockwood Opened Over the Canada Day Weekend [EMTL]
- Meet ÊAT, the New Montreal Restaurant Inside the W Hotel [EMTL]
- Starbucks Launches First-Ever 'Express' Store on Wall Street [ENY]
- Le Comptoir Quietly Packs Up Its Charcuterie And Wine — And Other Closures [EMTL]
- Le pourboire vu par les clients [ARQ]
- Some People Don’t Seem to Understand How Montreal’s ‘No Tipping’ Restaurants Work [EMTL]