Exceedingly popular downtown French restaurant Europea is up for sale — kind of.
The restaurant, known for chef Jérôme Ferrer’s creations like the lobster bisque cappuccino, is listed on commercial real estate website Acquizition.biz, but representatives for Ferrer say that Europea will live on in different premises (more on that in a moment).
Europea has occupied a Victorian-era building on de la Montagne since 2002, with a tableclothed dining room spread over two floors and connected by a spiral staircase. And the listing reveals that the space is bigger than meets the eye: it boasts the potential for three terrasses (one on the roof), as well as a large office space, conference room, wine cellar, and obviously, the sizeable kitchen space required to churn out Ferrer’s fairly elaborate tasting menus.
Ferrer is listed as the contact for budding buyers, but it seems that the building itself isn’t for sale — rather, it’s some kind of lease takeover, where the business itself and the right to occupy the space is for sale. The building appears to be owned by Marc Kakon of Montreal’s MK Group realtors. It’s listed as being fully equipped (and priced at $495,000) — which means if Europea is moving elsewhere, it’s going to be starting afresh with new fixings, decor, and the works.
It seems that Europea will be possibly moving just metres away: in April, La Presse reported that Ferrer is working on a two-level restaurant in the Roccabella condo development on Rene-Levesque and de la Montagne, with a lounge and all-day tea room. It hasn’t been confirmed whether this development will be the new Europea, but if it is, this more casual-sounding lounge business means it’s somewhat of a service shake-up for the mostly lunch-and-dinner tasting menu oriented place. That new project is set to open later this year.
Of course, finding a successful new tenant for the current Europea location could be a challenge: Ferrer’s restaurant is very high-end, and somewhat of a destination, drawing substantial crowds (often tourists) even on weekday lunches. Any replacement would need to have a solid cash flow to survive — or else it had better establish itself pretty darn fast to make such a big space work.