Winter is more or less here — and while it’s the quiet season for many restaurants and bars, a few brave souls are still planning to throw open their doors.
From an Ahuntsic bakery to an NDG pizza favourite, it seems that expansions for existing restaurants are à la mode right now, while a few shiny new ideas are also in the works. Here’s some hot picks from both categories.
Who: Two principals from Plateau restaurant Chasse-Galerie: Vianney Godbout and Carl Gaulthier, and two new owners, Nicolas Corneli and Hudrick Durand.
What: A “Québécois bouchon” — so, a local twist on the classic Lyon-style brasserie. Expect hearty fare from stews to pouding chômeur.
Where: 1141 Bélanger in Petite-Patrie — the former premises of “allergy restaurant” Zero8.
Currently Unnamed Restaurant from the Impasto Team
Who: Owners of Impasto and Pizzeria Gema, Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita, and two of their team members from those restaurants, Benjamin Lemay Lemieux and Anthony DiIorio.
What: A casual trattoria — despite the above picture, it’ll be more centred around Brooklyn-style pizza (instead of the Neapolitan approach at Gema), with dough naturally leavened over a two to three day period. There should also be a few pasta options, and natural wines. Perhaps most excitingly, they’ll be getting into delivery for the first time.
When: Mid to late March.
Where: In Villeray — on Jarry, somewhere between St-Laurent and St-Denis.
Who: Alexandra Grenier and Damien Cussac — both are new to the baking industry, but Grenier has been successfully selling bagels out of her home for a while now.
What: Griffintown’s very own bagel bakery — the area is light on bagel options, so Le Trou plans to fill the hole with Montreal-style classics. As an added bonus, the small spot will also serve coffee and bagel sandwiches.
When: Probably in January.
Where: William and des Seigneurs, in Griffintown.
Who: The Barroco group, known for their restaurant by the same name, and St-Henri double-act Foeigwa and Atwater Cocktail Club; ex-Au Pied de Cochonner JP Miron will head the kitchen.
What: A Neapolitan pizza restaurant with a few veggie plates and pasta options.
When: The restaurant is hiring, so probably very soon.
Where: 1886 Centre Street in Pointe-St-Charles.
Who: Christine Lamarche and Normand Laprise, owners of Toqué, former Google exec Patrick Pichette, and Cerf de Boileau owner Doug Harpur.
What: The first new project in a while for this Quebec culinary icon will be a more casual affair in a Parc-Ex development, offering light meals and coffee during the day, and a more formal restaurant setting by night, as well as a boutique grocery counter (a “showcase for artisans”, Laprise has previously said). It’s not the only Laprise project in the works — he’s also planning a second location for Brasserie T in South Shore mega-mall Dix30, and wants to add another few Brasserie T locations in coming years.
When: TBD — fall 2018 was the initial plan, now it’s unclear.
Where: On Beaumont Avenue near Acadie, in Parc-Extension.
Who: Renaud Gouin and Shawn Duriez of brewery Avant-Garde.
What: The first open-to-the-public location for local craft brewers Avant-Garde — expect more rustic, classic-leaning ales, and a tasting room to sample them in.
Where: In the former Bingo Hochelaga space: 5500 Hochelaga.
Who: Marc-André Royal of Ahuntsic’s Le Saint-Urbain and La Bête à Pain.
What: A big new bakery right on the Laurentian Autoroute. With plenty of space, Royal has suggested that it’ll be more culinary, calling it a merge of Le Saint-Urbain and the existing Bête à Pain locations — but also lots of cannelés and chocolatines, to be sure.
Where: 1965 Autoroute des Laurentides in Laval, on the service road.
Who: The same people as the existing Parma Café on Bishop Street.
What: More no-nonsense pastas and filling, hearty Italian sandwiches, loaded up with meat, cheese, rapini, and more — the kinds of sandwiches popular in places like Philadelphia, yet strangely tough to find in Montreal. Oh, it’s a double expansion too: one will be downtown, another for Little Italy.
When: Very soon — probably in December or January for both locations.
Where: 505 de la Gauchetière, at Beaver Hall, for the downtown expansion, and at the Jean-Talon Market for Little Italy.
Who: The same people as Little Burgundy’s September Surf, duh.
What: A double expansion for this Notre-Dame West caffeine favourite (which also added a neat snack bar to its original location). One will be a counter inside the Montreal location of Vermont ski-wear retailer Burton, just up the street in Griffintown, and another will be a full-size café just across the canal in the Point.
When: Early 2019, it seems.
Where: Inside the Burton store at 1420 Notre-Dame W, and inside the Nordelec building on Saint-Patrick, in Pointe-St-Charles.
- Latin Quarter microbrewery Saint-Houblon will be opening up on the corner of St-Laurent and St-Zotique in Little Italy, pretty darn soon.
- NDG is set to get a location of cheap eats restaurant L’Gros Luxe — it’ll arrive at 5942 Sherbrooke W in coming months.
- Speaking of NDG, solid NDG pizza haunt Melrose Pizzeria is set to open in the former Laika space on St-Laurent, in the Plateau.
- NDG café Melk is headed to St-Urbain Street, right near the Palais de Congrès — opening dates are still TBD.
- Monkland Avenue seafood spot Lucille’s has something in the works at the west end of St-Henri — few details have been released yet.
- Doughnut chain Krispy Kreme is set to return to downtown Montreal, but no date has been set yet.
And Later in 2019...
- Big name American chef Marcus Samuelsson will helm the restaurant at the new Four Seasons hotel in downtown Montreal — its opening is slated for sometime in the middle of the year.
- Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberté has a big, gaudy pyramid-shaped event space and club planned for the Old Port — expect it to arrive in June.
- It’s food hall mania, with three of them on the way to the downtown area. First is likely to be Le Central, opening alongside Place-des-Arts with some 25 restaurants; chef Danny St-Pierre is overseeing the selection of quality tenants. Then, arts and culture publication Time Out is opening its Time Out Market concept in the Eaton Centre (something that proved successful on its first outing, in Lisbon, Portugal — expect it in the second half of the year. Later in the year will bring Le Cathcart, partly from the A5 Hospitality group, which will transform drinking and dining options at Place Ville-Marie.
- Brasseurs RJ (see: Belle Gueule, Le Cheval Blanc) is planning to morph its industrial space on St-Grégoire (adjacent to Laurier Park) into a big beer garden. The re-zoning for this is still pending approval, so it’s not even clear if it’ll arrive for summer 2019, though.