Exclusive, members-only Old Montreal club 357c is set to close in May, with its owners blaming high taxes as the reason.
357c played home base to some prominent chefs in over its 16 years on de la Commune Street, apparently proving itself quite the formative force — it spawned names such as sushi expert Shinji Nagai (of Shinji) and pastry wiz Bertrand Bazin (now at Café Bazin, run in conjunction with Antonio Park).
The club also made a notable appearance during the Charbonneau commission inquiry into corruption within Quebec’s construction industry: certain major figures in the construction industry frequented the club, and as such, its books were opened up as part of the commission.
357c took over what was a somewhat dilapidated heritage building in the early ‘00s, renewing it with major renovations before its opening in 2002. The closure notice says that the club had an aim “to revive and reintegrate into Montreal’s urban fabric an important heritage building that had been abandoned for many years” — laudable, although it seems odd that this is billed as the club’s “primary mission”, over the more obvious goal of serving its clientele.
The closure notice for the club cites high municipal taxes for the building as a reason for closure, as well as constraints on the ability for the club to expand or develop its business at its current location.
As CTV reports, 357c’s has previously described itself as a place to do business “in the utmost comfort and discretion.” In that context, the “muh taxes” line seems like an odd hill to die on, given that this is an establishment primarily geared towards very rich businesspeople (think “country club in the city”) — as such, tax changes could probably be comfortably be passed on more easily than at your average not-for-rich-people restaurant — unless of course, membership had been on the decline, since property taxes don’t shift according to the number of very wealthy folks in your building. And to be fair, 357c owns its own building, while most restaurants and bars do not.
In any case, 357c will close May 24 — people with memberships beyond that date will be contacted by the club about their membership (presumably for a refund).