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The Old Port of Montreal with the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in the background.

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Montreal’s Most Anticipated Openings, Winter 2020

New projects from the owners of Bouillon Bilk, Juni, and Café Olimpico are opening in the coming months

The Old Port of Montreal with the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in the background
| Shutterstock

Another icy winter is upon the city, but that’s not stopping a few restaurateurs from throwing open the doors on new ventures. From another food hall to a Japanese épicerie, here’s a preview of the new eating and drinking establishments to keep an eye out for over the next three months.


Le Cathcart

A glass ceiling with a view into the basement of Place Ville-Marie on the left, with pedestrians walking at ground level on the right, and downtown Montreal’s skyscrapers in the background.
An architect’s rendering of the plaza about Le Cathcart
Sid Lee Architecture/Supplied

Who: A consortium of sorts that includes A5 Hospitality (Jatoba, Kampai Garden), architecture firms Sid Lee and Menkes Shooner Dagenais Letourneaux, and real estate company Ivanhoé Cambridge.

What: One more new food hall for the city (following Le Central and Time Out Market, this is the last). Of the three, the design on this one looks to be the most spectacular, with a greenery-filled atrium and a glass roof looking out to the city from Place Ville-Marie. AS for food, it’ll feature full-service restaurants from chefs that have worked at Jatoba and Un Po’ di Piu, plus casual projects from the owners of Arthurs, Uniburger, Omnivore, and notable Miami restaurant Kyu.

When: Mid to late-January.

Where: Place Ville-Marie — the entrance will be directly off Cathcart at the south end of McGill College.

Bouillon Bilk’s new project

Who: Mélanie Blanchette and chef François Nadon, owners of Latin Quarter restaurants Bouillon Bilk and Cadet

What: A brasserie project that will focus on classics — the exact culinary style hasn’t been declared, although the whole “brasserie” aspect suggests that it should be French. It’ll take over the large, modern space that used to be Le Local.

When: It’s unclear, but it was initially meant to open in the fall.

Where: 740 William Street, in Cité-du-Multimédia (between Griffintown and Old Montreal).

Joon

Who: Former Impasto and Le St-Urbain chef Erin Mahoney

What: A restaurant focusing on the foods of the Caucasus and Caspian regions — in particular, Georgia, Iran, and Armenia. Expect herby dips, well-marinated kebabs, housemade breads, and generally, a very promising take on some cuisines that don’t get a whole lot of representation in Montreal.

When: Late winter or possibly early spring.

Where: Somewhere in Little Italy.

212 Notre-Dame West (unnamed project)

Who: Brooke Walsh, Trevor Coulton, and chef Pat Marion.

What: A new establishment for the spectacular space that used to be wine-centric resto Accords — expect traditional Italian done with local ingredients, from a chef who brings experience from Denmark’s Noma and British Columbia destination resto Pilgrimme.

When: February 2020.

Where: The former Accords restaurant (pictured above), at 212 Notre-Dame West in Old Montreal.

Unnamed project from the owners of Maïs

Food at Parasol, an inspiration to this new project
Parasol/Facebook

Who: Chef-owner of taco restaurant Maïs William Cody, sommelier William Saulnier (ex Hoogan & Beaufort), Peter and Susan Popovic.

What: Cody and company are closing down seven-year-old Mile End restaurant Maïs and booting up something fresh in its place. They’re inspired by the light, summery fare of pop-up Parasol, which has operated out of the back of Maïs over recent summer seasons and has drawn a substantial following. That said, the restaurant will not be “Parasol but permanent” — Parasol will return as a pop-up in summer 2020, too.

When: March 2020.

Where: 5439 St-Laurent, in the location of Maïs.

Okini

Fish at Juni
Juni/Facebook

Who: Montreal sushi pro Junichi Ikematsu

What: Ikematsu is opening an épicerie-comptoir right alongside his lauded Laurier Avenue destination, Juni. It’ll sell ready-to-eat food spanning from fresh fish to pastries, as well as specialty Japanese ingredients. It will incorporate a small seating area offering tasting menus and 5 à 7 options.

When: Probably in early spring rather than winter — late March, perhaps.

Where: Right next door to Juni (156 Laurier W), in Mile End.

Schlouppe Bistrot Nakamichi 2.0

Schlouppe Bistrot Nakamichi/Facebook

Who: Jumpei Iwakiri.

What: Nakamichi, one of the best ramen restaurants in town, will return to business as it takes over the former Thazard space in Mile End (which Iwakiri also co-owned). It closed a few months ago to make space for Iwakiri to open a new Japanese café project in the old Mackay Street space.

When: To be determined, but renovations are underway.

Where: 5329 St-Laurent, in Mile End.

Café Olimpico downtown

The site of Olimpico’s upcoming downtown location
Café Olimpico/Facebook

Who: The good folks behind Mile End Italian espresso icon Café Olimpico, of course.

What: A new location for the Mile End coffee staple. It’s not the first expansion for them — but the café’s only other location (beyond the original) is a smaller counter tied to an Old Montreal hotel, so in a sense it’s the first big-deal expansion for Olimpico.

When: Early in the new year.

Where: The former Presbytery behind the Christ Church Cathedral on Robert-Bourassa and Ste-Catherine streets.

Other expansions

Escondite’s DDO location
Escondite West Island/Facebook
  • Taco truckers extraordinaire Grumman’78 will open a counter in the Nordelec building in Pointe-St-Charles early in the year.
  • Also in the taco realm, downtown resto Escondite just expanded again, with a West Island location (in Dollard, to be precise) as of this week.
  • Pro pâtisserie Maison Christian Faure appears to be preparing a location in Westmount.
  • “Fancy burger” chain Notre Boeuf de Grâce is continuing its expansion binge — it’s focusing on the ‘burbs with locations in Blainville and Brossard in the works.
  • Sushi restaurant Ryu is (still) working on a location in Griffintown — it’ll be in the base of condo development Le Se7t.

MAÏS

5439 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 1S5 (514) 507-7740 Visit Website

BOUILLON BILK

1595 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Ville-Marie, QC H2X 2S9 (514) 845-1595 Visit Website

Le Cathcart

1 Place Ville Marie, Ville-Marie, QC H3B 2B6 (514) 379-6163 Visit Website

Café Olimpico

124 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 2L1 (514) 495-0746 Visit Website

Juni

156 av. Laurier Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H2T 2N7 (514) 276-5864

Schlouppe Bistrot NAKAMICHI

2159 Rue Mackay, Ville-Marie, QC H3G 2J2 (438) 383-7650 Visit Website
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