The Rosemont-based breakfast and brunch restaurant Café Régine announced last week that they will be opening a new location under the name of Janine Café, this time in southwest neighbourhood of Verdun. It’s been six years since this principal location opened its doors to a lot of local praise, forming a destination location that’s known for consistently long lines of hungry patrons, let alone being one of Yelp’s top 100 restaurants in Canada of 2018; that’s no small feat for a restaurant with services that don’t run past late afternoons.
Much of what diners have enjoyed in the original location will likely be found in Janine, located in the former space of Cucina Linda, an Italian restaurant of 30 years which closed earlier this year. That means a space styled after an English tea room, replete with dark wallpaper, latte art, and fresh flowers. It’ll be the same owners as well: Pierre-Luc Chevalier, Charles Deschamps, and Maxim Lepage as ownership, with Gregory Chandler as chef.
The new restaurant, however, is not intended to be an exact replica of the first restaurant. “We are not trying to ‘copy-paste’ our concept. Our goal is to create another experience, offer a new gem,” Chevalier tells Eater. “We would like our clientele to fall in love with both restaurants and visit Janine and Régine.” Régine’s culinary director Anne-Claudine Laroche, creator of the original menu, is currently working on new menu items that may include more vegan options. In the meantime, the menu is set to contain many of the elements of its predecessor, including popular items from the savoury (pulled ham, mashed potatoes) to the sweet, such as scones, crumpets and cinnamon rolls on three-tiered tearoom platters.
As for the decision to set up in Verdun, Chevalier notes in a past interview that the goal of their restaurants is to provide the more distant corners of the city with a reason to visit. “We think it is a vibrant area and we fell in love with its prime location near the river,” he explains in a follow-up. “We also think Verdun is a little underrated, (and) we are hoping to contribute to the development of (Wellington).” The neighbourhood isn’t currently lacking in places to grab breakfast throughout the week, and whether this new establishment will steal the show remains to be seen.
The restaurant is expected to seat 85 at any given time, and it’s current timeline projects that major constructions and furnishings will be completed throughout August and September, with a grand opening projected to be at the end of October.