A $1-billion collaboration between Projet Nouveau Centre and real estate Ivanhoé Cambridge, the new food court and beer garden were designed in an effort to help revatalize Montreal’s downtown core. Le Cathcart will include three full-service restaurants, nine food kiosks, two cafés, and will serve up to 1,000 people at once.
The new project also includes a covered rooftop beer garden that will play host to events and serve a range of wines, cocktails, sake, and microbrews. Le Cathcart has brought on an impressive list of talent to design the drink menu: Vilains Brasseaurs’ Stéphane Pilon is curating the beer list, Jatoba sommelier Marc-André Nadeau is heading up the wine list, and Daphnée Vary Deshaies (ex-Foxy) is handling the cocktail menu.
Its downtown location makes Le Cathcart well-equipped to serve Montreal’s business community for work lunches and happy hours. Designed by A5 Hospitality and Sid Lee architecture, it’s the city’s third and final food hall to open in a span of six months (shortly after the opening of Le Central, next to Place-des-Arts, and the Eaton Centre’s Time Out Market in the Eaton Centre, which opened in September and November 2019, respectively).
The design of the space is particularly impressive — its large glass ceiling looks out onto the Place-Ville-Marie towers above and the central dining area is laden with plants and mismatched-but-chic patterned furniture, a true feast for the eyes. And importantly, most of this area is open to anyone, rather than being restricted to diners at Le Cathcart’s three full-service restaurants (those restaurants are just off to the west side, in full view of the glass ceiling but not encroaching on the primo space beneath it).
On the east side are most of the faster-service restaurants — this area is a bit more open with a sizable thoroughfare for people to move through, an appropriate design choice if the downtown crowds flock there during lunch hours, as Le Cathcart’s administration is hoping.
Overall, it’s a bit less of a cavernous, open-concept plan than, say, Time Out Market — and with various nooks and crannies that diners can stake out, it feels like the kind of place you could go back to over and over.
STATUS: Le Cathcart opens on Thursday, January 23. It will open every day at 7 a.m., and will run until 9 p.m. from Monday to Wednesday, until 11 p.m. every Thursday to Saturday, and until 6 p.m. every Sunday.
- Japanese cantina Akio, a collaboration between Antonio Park (Park, Flyjin, Kampai) and Olivier Vigneault (Jatoba, ex-Yuzu)
- Pizza del Fornaio, serving Neopolitan-inspired pizzas from chef Federico Bianchi
- French and Italian brasserie Mirabel, headed up by Nicholas Giambattisto (formerly Caffe Un Po’ Di Piu and Joe Beef)
Food counters and cafés
- Dirty Greens salad bar
- Gourmet Italian sandwich counter Patzzi
- Korean fried chicken counter Chikin, from James Beard Award-nominated Miami chef Michael Lewis
- Canadian burger joint Uniburger
- Lebanese-Montreal restaurant Omnivore
- Local South-East Asian favourite Hà
- Mon Nan, a chinese restaurant by chef Joe Lee
- Caffé Veloce, serving coffee, pastries, and ice cream
- Mexican banner Tulum Taqueria
- Poke bowl spot Karma Poke