Two and a half years after taking over the old Souvenirs d’Indochine on Mont-Royal Avenue, Restaurant Hà is expanding — a second location will be opening in the former L’Appartement on the corner of McGill and William in Old Montreal.
But the team is doing the upgrade without one big part of the restaurant’s heart: its namesake and the restaurant’s original chef, Hong Hà Hguyen passed away in 2015. But Principal Nic Urli tells Eater that Monsieur Hà’s cooking and outlook still make up the soul of the restaurant.
“It’s really emotional for us...there’s an emotional link we have with that restaurant and I think the clientele has it too. I think the story behind it is very strong and we feel that it’s only normal to keep on going.”
The new location won’t be a carbon copy of the Plateau location — the menu will be switched up a little (but with the same price range as the original Hà), and it’ll be a different ambiance on the design front.
“We’re working on the menu, we’re going to keep the classics but bring up some new items on the menu with maybe a little twist...mainly like the food, the feeling, and the pricing is the same. It’s the design and the bar thats going to be different.”
Those changes include a noodle bar in the basement of the multi-level space, adds Urli. He also points out that with other mid-range, casual spots opening up around Old Montreal right now, it’s a solid spot to be.
“Now that the Bonaventure [Expressway] is down there’s an opening on Griffintown, and the Cité du Multimédia has companies like Sid Lee and Stingray so lunch is going to be strong — a nice terrasse of 45 places, on a corner, to me it’s the perfect location.”
Expect it later on this spring.