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Vegan Big Dog Aux Vivres Opens Westmount Location

Despite the threat of a staff strike just two weeks ago

Aux Vivres/Facebook

After over 20 years in business, big name vegan restaurant Aux Vivres has a full-size second restaurant for the first time, with a Westmount location now open.

The newcomer to Sherbrooke West is following the same approach as the Aux Vivres mothership in Mile End, with all-vegan burgers, sandwiches, bowls, and brunches, dotted with tempeh, végépâté, and coconut bacon, among other meat substitutes. Taking after the original, it also has a take-out counter, separated off from the main dining area on a downstairs level.

Perhaps fittingly for the more moneyed neighbourhood, the location’s decor leans a little more formal and a little more muted than the more vibrant, slightly diner-esque atmosphere at the busy flagship on St-Laurent — think earthy brown colours, in both the wall panelling and banquette seating.

The new location has been in the works for well over a year, but its opening comes at a slightly turbulent time for the restaurant. In late May, 65 staff at the main St-Laurent restaurant voted unanimously to strike, seeking better pay and working conditions. A Facebook post indicated that the Aux Vivres union reached a tentative agreement with the bosses within just a few days, and before any major strike action happened, although it hasn’t been confirmed whether union members voted in agreement.

Aux Vivres/Facebook

While Aux Vivres started out in 1997, the company has avoided building a restaurant empire for itself, instead focusing on getting products like tempeh onto supermarket shelves (Aux Vivres bought tempeh company Noble Bean in 2014), as well as getting ready-to-eat fare stocked in refrigerators around Montreal. The company has a major commercial kitchen on Casgrain Avenue in Mile End, with a small take-out counter attached, making the Westmount Aux Vivres technically the third location.

STATUS — Aux Vivres Westmount is open at 4896 Sherbrooke West from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. daily for now, with expanded hours on the way.

Aux Vivres (Westmount)

4896 Rue Sherbrooke O, Westmount, QC H3Z 1H1 (514) 543-1267 Visit Website

Aux Vivres Plateau

4631 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 1R2 (514) 842-3479 Visit Website