Toronto vegan restaurant Hello 123 is set to take on Montreal this spring, opening in the former Prohibition space in NDG’s Monkland Village.
It’ll be an all-day spot serving casual coffee, brunch, and lunch, and a slightly more formal dinner service by night.
This isn’t a case of a Toronto restaurant blindly taking on the Montreal market, though — owner Mark Kupfert and his team are actually Montreal grown, so it’s more of a homecoming. Plus, it’s not his first taste of Montreal’s restaurant scene — he co-owns Old Montreal’s Kupfert & Kim, which opened last fall. It’s a mostly fast-casual affair focused on vegan bowls and burgers, and made its name in Toronto with several locations that are known for drawing substantial lunch-hour line-ups.
Kupfert tells Eater that the Montreal edition will be similar to the lone Toronto location, but not a carbon copy.
“It’s the same restaurant but we want there to be a little bit of independent character so there will be a few different dishes,” he says.
He explains that the all-day approach will allow customers to make Hello 123 whatever they need it to be, good for a coffee or 5 à 7 or a full meal.
“We like to call it ‘coffee to cocktails’ — you can grab lunch, a smoothie, work on a computer with a café vibe, but with an alcohol license we’ll do cold pressed juice cocktails, our version of a whiskey sour, and eat some vegan food without breaking the bank — you can dress it up or dress it down.”
Beyond those cocktails and coffees, the restaurant will also serve sustainable wines from Montreal importer Oenopole, and have beer, cider, and kombucha on tap.
On the menu, expect vegan takes on some staples such as eggs Benedict, avocado toast, an almond butter-based French toast, all on the brunch menu. Then there’s a spicy bibimbap, “pulled pineapple” sliders with an adobo sauce, and a loaded sweet potato among lunch and dinner options. For dessert, expect a cashew-based “cheesecake” and chocolate mousse. In short, a relatively wide-ranging set of options, many of which read as light yet hearty, comforting and well-rounded. It’s fairly affordable, with almost the entire menu at $15 and below.
The space itself will take a somewhat minimalist approach with ample plants, as well as a terrasse on Monkland in the summer.
Expect it to open sometime around April.