It’s been (almost) half a year since LOV opened in Old Montreal, with upscale casual vegan and vegetarian food as the focus — apparently, it’s been a success since there’s already a second location in the works.
LOV 2.0 will be downtown at 1232 de la Montagne, where La P’tite Grosse was formerly located, as well as Rosalie (side note — La P’tite Grosse appears to have been an extremely short-lived venture, apparently already closed after seven months). It’s a plus-size operation compared to the McGill Street spot: the restaurant will seat 200 with its terrasse and mezzanine factored in; in future it will have another private room with a capacity of 150. On top of that, it’ll be open seven days a week, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Expect a similar airy and bright vibe to the original — with terrariums and textiles.
Ex-Crudessence chef Stéphanie Audet will be devising a new summer menu for the opening, again, all vegan and vegetarian. The menu isn’t available yet, but it’ll likely be a mix of healthy options — bowls and such that appeal to the “clean eating” crowd, alongside some crowd pleasers like burgers, gnocchi, or the “smoked beet” sandwich. As with the original, cocktails and wine come from Romain Cavalier and Steve Beauséjour respectively.
So — does this mean LOV is going to turn into a chain? It looks like a distinct possibility — Dominic Bujold, who developed the idea, successfully expanded Pizzeria No 900 out into a Quebec-wide pizza chain, and the first expansions for 900 also began just months after the original Outremont location opened (for what it’s worth, Bujold also built Sushi Shop into a successful chain, although its food court approach is a whole other business model). Given its scale, it looks like the downtown LOV is testing the waters — the Old Montreal one was popular, but will it be popular enough to fill up such a large space? If the answer ends up being yes, then perhaps there will be more LOVs on the horizon.