Big news: the full team behind famed Little Burgundy restaurant trio Joe Beef, Liverpool House, and Le Vin Papillon are planning a fourth venue to open this winter: a wine bar named Mon Lapin.
The group are breaking away from the Notre-Dame West strip that has served them so well for the last decade and a half: Mon Lapin is to be on St-Zotique Street in Little Italy, in the space formerly occupied by Moroccan restaurant K’Moon.
Joe Beef co-owner Dave McMillan tells Eater that he, Fred Morin, Alison Cunningham, chef Marc-Olivier Frappier, and sommelier Vanya Filipovic are jointly going to be behind Mon Lapin, noting that it will lean towards being Frappier’s project.
For McMillan, it’s partly about keeping his (now fairly large) team together, and also giving them new opportunities, especially kitchen staff who have matured.
“We’ve been thinking about diversifying, and we have a lot of talented people on the team, almost an obnoxious amount of individuals that are talented enough to run a business on their own.”
“I hate when people leave, I’m sensitive, I’m not like a boss, I like the people that I work with, they generally all end up being my close friends. So when they leave it’s like breaking up and it’s quite difficult.”
The space will be smaller than the Little Burgundy trio (permits that will decide the exact capacity are still to come). Natural wine will be a focus, but McMillan says it won’t be Vin Papillon 2.0 (details on the menu will come at a much later date).
“It’s not Italian, it won’t be French, whatever it is that we do. We’re just trying to build a cute room that’s warm and that doesn’t kill us.”
It’s the first new venture in four years for the group: Vin Papillon was the last opening in 2013.