Summer brought a whole host of new restaurants to Montreal, and as temperatures drop, the openings won’t slow down much. Here are 14 to keep an eye out for, starting this September.
Who: Four partners who all spent considerable time at Old Montreal’s L’Orignal.
What: A small Polish café, making everything in-house — pierogies, cabbage rolls, borscht, and sweets like paczki (akin to doughnuts) and charlotka (think apple crumble).
Where: 3279 St Jacques, in St-Henri
Who: Father and son Richard and Jérémie Bastien, of Outremont restaurant Leméac
What: This one has been in the works since 2013 but the Bastien duo say it’s seriously coming soon. It’ll be a “Gramercy Tavern-style” restaurant in the Penny Lane condominium-etc development in Old Montreal, with a mix of both bistro-like fare and some offerings along the classic French lines of Leméac.
When: Fall — no date yet
Where: 417 Notre-Dame West, in Old Montreal
Who: Anthony Benda (Café Myriade), Aaron Polsky (ex-MasterChef Canada), Elayne Teixeira-Millar
What: An all-purpose café and bar — beer, natural wine, classic cocktails. It won’t have a full kitchen, so food will stick to snacks and smaller plates, with a focus on Spanish-style conservas (e.g. sardines), olives, jamon, and the likes.
Where: On Notre-Dame West in St-Henri, near Arthur’s and Rustique
Who: Dan Pham, of Vietnamese pub Le Red Tiger and Hawaiian snack bar Kamehameha
What: A 50-seat sushi, tempura, and sake bar. The sushi will be more on the fusion side, from twin chefs Viet and Nam Truong, owners of Plateau sushi restaurant Boîte Geisha, with some degree of sake matching to the menu.
Where: In the Village, on Amherst near de Maisonneuve.
Who: Jesse Mulder (Chak Wow) and other partners
What: A “neighbourhood curry shop”. Jesse Mulder has run Thai delivery service Chak Wow on and off for several years, in between long trips to Thailand to hone his culinary craft.
Where: Little Italy — 83 Saint-Zotique E
Who: Giant Japanese barbecue chain Gyu-Kaku
What: Yakiniku — grill-it-yourself Japanese barbecue. Customers order meat, which comes pre-marinated or seasoned, and tables with built-in burners allow for grilling without moving from one’s seat. They typically have non-barbecue options like chicken karaage and udon bowls, too.
When: Gyu-Kaku won’t give more details than “coming soon”, but the storefront is coming along.
Where: 1255 Crescent Street, downtown
Who: Sophie Duchastel de Montrouge and Jérémy Daniel-Six.
What: A new project from the people behind much-loved Village breakfast and lunch spot Ma’tine, which closed unexpectedly in 2016. Details are scarce — but instead of brunch, they’ll do dinner.
When: Fall (we hope)
Where: At Bélanger and Fabre, in Petite-Patrie.
Who: Husband-wife duo David Ades and Patricia Wenzel
What: This beautiful and iconic restaurant shuttered in 2016 when its previous owner retired, but was purchased early 2017. While the owners aren’t restaurant industry players, they’re bringing in chef Shaun Hughes (ex-Joe Beef, and Toronto’s Black Hoof) to do a British-style menu, with butchering and baking to be done at the inn itself.
When: August had initially been flagged for reopening, but it looks like September now.
Where: Hudson, right where Willow Inn has always been.
Who: Soufian Mamlouk
What: Montreal’s first cereal bar — but rather than just selling an item one can purchase at the grocery store, they’ll have imported cereal from the States and Europe, and house-made granola, smoothie bowls and the like. Coffee, too.
Where: Little Burgundy: 2613 Notre-Dame West
Who: Antonio Park, of neighbouring restaurants Park and Café Bazin.
What: The long-awaited re-opening of Park’s homage to meat — as before, Lavanderia will do asado-style charcoal-grilled beef, chorizo, fish, and more (a nod to Park’s upbringing in South America); it’s a chance for Park to use that Kobe beef import license he worked so hard for again.
Where: Right where Lavanderia used to be: 374 Victoria, in Westmount.
Who: The same people behind popular Mile End restaurant Les Deux Singes de Montarvie.
What: Les Deux Singes de Montarvie closed its doors in August, and will expand and reopen as an all-new restaurant. Executive chef Sean Murray Smith will still be involved, menu details are still to come.
Where: 176 St-Viateur West, in Mile End
Who: The Montreal Canadiens, in conjunction with food service corporation Cara Operations.
What: The Habs are opening two restaurants, one of which will be the largest in Canada, seating over 1,000 right next to the Bell Centre (the second, smaller one will be in Laval). Given that the massive corporation that owns places like fast food restaurants Swiss Chalet and St-Hubert, and beer bar Bier Markt, some Eater readers question what the quality will be like, but it’s notable just based on sheer size.
When: Before the first Habs home game of the season (early October) for the downtown location, and later in the fall for the smaller Laval one.
Where: One in the Tour des Canadiens condo development next to the Bell Centre, the other adjacent to Place Bell in Laval.
Who: Brothers Liam and Michael Makhan, the owners of Aux Vivres.
What: The first major restaurant expansion for the long-running Mile End vegan spot — while they’ve had major success going into the food retail world, they avoided opening a second full-service location until now (although they do have a lunch counter at their industrial kitchen on Casgrain, also in Mile End).
Where: 4896 Sherbrooke West, in Westmount
Who: Charles Manceau, of Venice
What: A tequila and mezcal bar, focused on tasting liquors imported from Mexico. It’ll be small, with a plush lounge vibe — not a party bar.
When: Fall, sometime
Where: Beneath Venice’s next door bar Boho — 436 Saint-François-Xavier, in Old Montreal.
Other Fall Openings
- Swish all-vegetarian and vegan restaurant LOV is expanding quickly — after opening their second location downtown in July (their first is in Old Montreal), its next location will be at Laval’s Centropolis.
- Montreal-area Jamaican patty-maker Lloydie’s is branching out into the restaurant business with a Mile End location.
- A new Spanish restaurant named Ibérica will set up shop downtown, at 1450 Peel Street, around late September.
- Griffintown is set to get a new sushi spot — Sushi Newtown will open this fall at 311 de la Montagne.
- Pizzeria No 900 keeps on expanding — this fall it adds locations in Blainville and St-Bruno.
- Speaking of St-Bruno, pizzeria Enoteca Monza will also set up shop there this fall.
And Some Last-Minute Summer Openings
- Burger masters Uniburger are set to open a St-Henri location at 4412 Notre-Dame West, possibly before August is out.
- Pizzeria Heirloom will open very soon on Ontario Street in the East End — it comes from Dominic Laflamme, Vincent Chatelais, and Nicolas Ficuciello. All are known for BYOB restaurants like Le Quartier Général, but this one won’t be bring-your-own.
- NDG gets a new vegetarian and vegan restaurant, Ashley’s Health Bar in the coming days.