NDG is now without a dedicated bagel bakery, as St-Viateur Bagel & Café on Monkland closes its doors today following a rent hike.
The location, one of four hybrid bagel store-cafés, has been in business on the popular strip since 2001. The reason for the shutter is clear: St-Viateur was unable to negotiate a renewal of its lease, after the bakery’s landlords demanded a significant rent increase from the Montreal icon. The closure has been known since January; St-Viateur will plate up its final sandwiches today (March 11).
Real estate company Développement Métro Montreal Corporation is behind the rent increase: that outfit leases space to numerous large corporations such as Metro, Jean-Coutu, and Pharmaprix. No replacement tenant has been announced for St-Viateur’s premises. Presumably, if the rent increase was substantial enough to doom a high-traffic staple like St-Viateur, it seems that it would be difficult for an independent restaurant or store to move in and stay afloat.
CTV News noted on Sunday that St-Viateur Bagel was not the only place in the Monkland Village faced with high rents: The owner of vegan restaurant Juicy Lotus told a reporter that she is already struggling and would be unable to withstand another increase.
Speaking to CBC, owner Nick Moreno indicated that he’s still interested in opening elsewhere in NDG (he had already flagged this possibility back in January), although no concrete plans are in place for that at present.
While grocery stores in the area will still carry St-Viateur bagels (although these are often less fresh than going direct to a bakery), the whole neighbourhood is now without a committed bagelry. While the curiously-named Bagel Van Horne (on Monkland, not Van Horne) remains in NDG, it’s closer to a depanneur that stocks a few bagels.
St-Viateur now is now left with three café locations — Mont-Royal Avenue, Laval, and Dollard-des-Ormeaux, and four bakeries, including the Mile End flagship (five, if an industrial bakery in Laval is counted, although it is not open to the public).