Mile End taqueria Maïs will close its doors by the end of the year.
The restaurant made the announcement on social media this week — but mercifully, its space on St-Laurent won’t become yet another empty, for-rent storefront in the neighbourhood. Some of the restaurant’s owners are retaining the space, and planning something new.
Maïs’ final day of service will be December 28 (and in the lead-up to that date, tequila and mezcal will be discounted). It opened in 2012 and served a respectable seven years on the Main, serving a mix of classics like carnitas and Baja-style fish tacos alongside creative other tacos such as a carrot-almond option.
The restaurant also made a name of-sorts for itself with pop-up restaurant Parasol, which opened for a few months each year in a space at the back of the restaurant. Starting in 2016, Parasol opened each summer in a garage-like space opening out to Maïs’ back alleyway. It focused more on vegetable and seafood dishes, as well as natural wine, and drew solid write-ups, courtesy of the work of chef William Cody and sommelier William Saulnier.
That’s where the future plans for Maïs’ space come in: Cody, Saulnier, and associates Peter and Susan Popovic will open a new restaurant based off the fresh style that Parasol put forward.
To be clear, Parasol is not being upgraded to a full-scale, permanent restaurant — it’s serving as the inspiration for the new entity, which is yet to be named. Cody tells Eater that Parasol will return as a pop-up in the warmer months, with its breezy back alley space.
Expect the new project to open sometime around March next year.