A Paris-based crepe chain is opening its first Montreal location: La Fête à Crêpe is preparing to start pouring batter in the Shaughnessy Village downtown.
It will take over a prime corner on Ste-Catherine at St-Mathieu, making up part of the restaurant-dense strip near Concordia University.
The chain’s format seems to be along the lines of “Subway, but with crepes” — instead of fixed fillings for crepes such as spinach and cheese or banana-Nutella, customers build their own filled crepes from scratch. There’s a choice between sweet and savoury, and then a hefty list of toppings on each side.
On the sweet side those range from honey, jam, or berries through to Haribo candy or madeleines (which seems like it would be a rather starchy mouthful). The savoury list is even longer — it features nine types of cheese, vegetables spanning from avocado to corn or pickles, kebab meat, chicken tenders , and enigmatic sauce options like “Biggy”, among staples like mayo or ketchup. A novel concept to be sure, but one that leaves customers with plenty of room for customers to accidentally compile a true monstrosity.
Beyond crepes, the chain also offers smoothies and milkshakes.
Fête à Crêpe has expanded rapidly since its first opening in 2014 — it numbers over 30 locations across France, with ten more in the works. Three of those are international: Beyond Montreal, it’s expanding to Belgium and Morocco. Most of those — Montreal included, it seems — are franchise operations.
French chains attempting to jump the Atlantic have been a relative rarity in recent years in Quebec — in 2018, bakery chain Louise opened its first location, but took a notably different approach. Its Little Italy bakehouse appears styled to look more like a hip neighbourhood bakehouse than a chain. Fête à Crêpe, with some heavy branding and no shortage of logos in its windows, is apparently taking a different route.
- Fête à Crêpe prêt à retourner le marché de la restauration rapide [Les Echos de la Franchise]