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Five-Alarm Fire Leaves a Plateau Brunch Spot in Ashes

Damaging its next door shawarma neighbour

Universel Déjeuners et Grillades / St-Denis

The popular crossroads of brunch spots in the Plateau by Saint-Louis Square lost a location over the weekend: The Saint-Denis location of Universel Déjeuners et Grillades was the victim of a five-alarm fire that started early Sunday morning.

According to reports by the CBC and CTV News, the call for the blaze went out to 911 at 6:45 a.m. The fire had begun in the restaurant’s cellar and proceeded to climb through all three floors of the building via the pipes. Due to combination of factors—poor ventilation in the building, renovations with overlapping layers and divisions—firefighters were forced to break open floors in order to release an overwhelming amount of smoke. That left the department working in shifts, with as many as 120 firefighters reported dousing the building for almost eight hours. 10 residents were evacuated, and no one was injured.

While investigators are still looking into what caused the fire in the first place, no criminal activity is being suspected.

This Universel was one of three locations belonging to the franchise—which shows no affiliation to the amusement park company despite its curiously selected logo. Its immediate next door neighbour Station Shawarma was also affected by the large fire, but the full extent of the damage remains to be seen. There’s been no mention of the fire on either of the restaurants’ social media platforms.

One of several establishments that made this particular area popular for breakfast and brunch since moving to the location in 2008, Universel’s terasse was especially populated in the summer. Frequented by surrounding neighbours, this Saint-Denis location with its “warm ambiance of wood paneling and hot pink sofa seats” was also treated as a popular nightlife spot, as evidenced by this location’s Facebook photo album.