PLATEAU — Ch-changes are happening with the Big in Japan group — Banh Mi Queen, the sandwich counter from the same owner has gone out of business on St-Laurent at Pins. It opened in 2016, headed up by Julie Bisson, partner of Big in Japan owner André Nguyen. At the time Eater noted that it was a rather expensive option for what is typically a cheap eat, with banh mis going up to $12 — the prices were later brought down but it apparently wasn’t enough to save it. Nguyen and team haven’t had a great time making things stick at the corner of St-Laurent and Pins — a couple of years ago, much larger Chinese resto June Rose also never took off.
In fact, the Big in Japan empire is looking more like a fiefdom right now — the restaurant, also at that corner, is also temporarily closed, with a sign in the window indicating that renovations are ongoing, meaning just the bar is open right now.
ROSEMONT — Masson Street barbecue resto Le Boucan has closed its doors after nearly two years — according to a publication for businesses on the street, the shutter was rather sudden, with no reason given. The original on Notre-Dame in Griffintown is still open.
GRIFFINTOWN — Cozy Ottawa Street restaurant Chez Ann has departed the neighbourhood after a strange year, where owner Kimberly Houston seemed to butt heads with locals (mostly via social media, in particular, neighbourhood Facebook group). Houston tells Eater that there were issues with developers of the building selling her space to another landlord, resulting in some kind of dispute and ultimately, the departure. In any case, Chez Ann lives on, having moved into the former La Femme Fontaine space in Little Italy.
DOWNTOWN — Malaysian café chain Papparoti, known for its coffee buns, has dipped out of the Montreal market, closing its Ste-Catherine location near Place-des-Arts after about a year. It lives on elsewhere in Canada, with six locations in Toronto and Vancouver.
PLATEAU — A few weeks back, Eater reported that homey side-street bakery Mr Pinchot closed, but left open the possibility of a return — that seems unlikely now, as for lease signs have gone up on its Brébeuf Street premises in recent days.
DOWNTOWN — Meaty Italian sandwich spot Porchetta has given up on its Guy Street location near Concordia University — the original Little Italy location, opened in 2015 by what was then the Buonanotte group, is still very much alive and kicking.
DOWNTOWN — Ste-Catherine meat-smokers Le Smoking BBQ have temporarily closed for renovations, but should be back in the barbecue business in a week or two.
PLATEAU — The mystery of French restaurant Laloux’s apparently temporary closure continues — an Eater tipster says the restaurant was listed as a participant in this November’s MTL à Table, a Restaurant Week type event with restaurants offering discounted table d’hôte menus. That listing appears to have vanished, and the restaurant is still closed.