2019 is around the corner, but before we jump in, here’s a run-down of what captivated Eater Montreal readers in 2018. There weren’t as many big scandals as 2017 — instead, news about chains, weed, hot new restaurants, and one tragic death dominated. Here’s what drew the most clicks, in ascending order.
The Toronto edition of this purveyor of fluffy Japanese cheesecakes is notorious for drawing line ups. When it threw open its doors in downtown, it seems that Uncle Tetsu earned more or less the same rapturous reception for its signature baked dairy treat.
Relatively speaking, it was a hot year for new openings in Laval, and none drew more attention that the announcement that gigantesque club Moomba would be converted into a a mega dim sum restaurant-slash-bar, headed up by the owner of Montreal’s Le Red Tiger.
Before the first week of January was even over, the closures started rolling in, with the sudden shutter of all seven locations for local chain Pâtisserie de Gascogne. After 60 years in business, the sudden shutdown cost somewhere around 175 employees their jobs.
The Joe Beef group had not one, but two openings this year — McKiernan Luncheonette, then this one, which garnered the most attention. Mon Lapin was their first venture outside of JB’s Little Burgundy base: a wine-centric resto on St-Zotique in Little Italy, it quickly became a roaring success.
OK, readers really cared about the conversion of club Moomba into this resto-bar for Laval — the opening announcement drew even more eyeballs than the initial story about the plans for the restaurant, perhaps due to its stunningly elaborate interior.
Cannabis becoming legal for recreational use on October 17 was big news across Canada, yet many people were unaware that edibles — like candy or brownies — were not going to be on sale, and they looked to Eater for an explanation (in short: you’re free to make all the weed food you like at home).
Not one but three major food hall projects were announced for downtown Montreal this year (all are expected to open later in 2019 — see also, Le Central and Le Cathcart). The first to be announced was this one from culture publication Time Out — the company has tried a similar version in Lisbon, Portugal, and is exporting it internationally, with one outpost slated for the Eaton Centre.
3 and 2. Montrealers Mourn Anthony Bourdain’s Death/10 Notable Bourdain Quotes About Montreal (and Canada)
Perhaps the biggest food story of the year, period, was the death of Anthony Bourdain. Eater Montreal brought the local angle to the tragedy, with Bourdain having shown a distinct love for the city and sharing a friendship with restaurant owners like Joe Beef’s David McMillan. Many more, both inside and outside the food world, had thoughts to share — and Montrealers wanted to read up on Bourdain’s sentiments about the city to remember him.
America may run on Dunkin’, but Canada apparently does not. Eater Montreal broke the news that the coffee chain had shut down its final few locations for the entire country (all of which were in or near Montreal), ending the company’s sometimes-fraught three month venture north of the border.