The chainification of Mile End continues, as fast-casual vegan eatery Copper Branch appears to be taking over the former location of beloved doughnut and coffee spot Chez Boris.
A huge billboard has been placed over the Parc Avenue premises, with a blown-up image of the chain’s veggie and grain bowls displayed prominently. The space had otherwise sat empty for well over a year, after the building’s landlord refused to renew the café’s lease.
While the billboard implores Mile Enders to “joignez la révolution alimentaire”, someone quickly swooped in with a Sharpie to cross out “révolution” and write “dépossession” in its place.
For Copper Branch, the Parc location is just one amidst a massive expansion, with many new locations slated for Quebec and Ontario, alongside a few in Alberta, Paris, and a New York City outlet.
But for locals, it could be a symptom of the fact more chains seem to be trying their luck in the neighbourhood lately, which is rapidly becoming a tourist hub. Amid rising rents and concerns about gentrification, a location for Vancouver activewear chain Lululemon that opened on St-Viateur Street is the most obvious example. A few doors along from that, a location of QDC Burger, the upscale burger chain from Montreal restaurateur Peter Morentzos, is also brand new on the scene.
While Chez Boris’ former owner Boris Volfson didn’t give a word-based reaction, his brief response to this news on Twitter was not exactly joyous.
:/— Boris (@ChezBorisMTL) August 21, 2018