A new hotel in the Birks Building downtown is preparing to open, and inside will be a French brasserie from the owner of the also-downtown, also-French resto Le Pois Penché.
Henri is the name of the new project, from Imad Nabwani, who took over Pois Penché several years ago. While the restaurant will be physically attached to the boutique Hotel Birks inside, it’s independent to the lodgings, owned by the same group as Hotel Le St-Martin on de Maisonneuve.
A statement on the project dubs Henri as somewhat of a décontracté neighbourhood restaurant — as far as hotel restaurants go, it seems like it should be on the less-snooty, accessible side, though Nabwani notes that it should be suitable for everything from special occasion-type meals down to 5 à 7 drinks and bites.
Nabwani tells Eater that Henri will deliver a “modern approach to the French brasserie”, incorporating a bar and lounge as well as the restaurant. Details about what will be offered are still vague, Nabwani is promising well-sourced, quality products with a focus on the local, suggesting that it could skew towards southern French cuisine, in comparison to the more Parisian Pois Penché.
While it’s too soon to take a look inside, it’s a promising milieu for a restaurant: designer Zebulon Perron (see: Un Po di Piu and many others) has about half of the lobby of the 19th century building to work with — he plans to emphasize the building’s historical features. He’ll reportedly be injecting marble and metallic gold touches into the space, suggesting that the end product could be quite the elegant space.
There’s no fixed opening date for Henri as yet, but with the hotel accepting reservations for early September, it seems reasonable to expect it should open around the same time.
- Birks building in downtown Montreal sold and will become a hotel [Montreal Gazette]
- Hotel Birks Montreal [Official]