After the sudden closure of Crescent Street resto-bar-club Thursday’s on New Year’s Day, it now seems likely that its building will be developed into either condominiums, or some kind of Peter Sergakis-owned business.
Various news outlets have been poking around the (metaphorical) ashes of Thursday’s, arriving at a few different possibilities, none of which are set in stone yet.
At present, the relatively large complex at 1449 Crescent Street is under the ownership of the Ragueneau family, who founded Thursday’s, but transferred the business to owner Chris-Ann Nakis in late 2018.
Nakis had also moved towards taking ownership of the building (and put in a deposit to that end). However, after seeing the business in action, she and her family’s restaurant group decided that the Ragueneaus’ $10 million asking price was too high, and they decided to abandon the purchase and return the building fully to the Ragueneau family.
After the closure, Nakis told the Gazette that she suspected that the business would reopen promptly under the Ragueneaus — however, if this were the case, it’s unclear why Nakis didn’t coordinate with them to avoid laying off dozens of staff.
Now, that mystery has been addressed, with Bernard Ragueneau telling CBC that he has no intention of reopening Thursday’s — his son, Torrance, declared to the broadcaster that they planned to sell the building.
That’s where the future of the building gets ambiguous, with a few different possibilities on the table.
The Journal de Montréal reports that sometimes-controversial bar magnate Peter Sergakis is interested in purchasing the building, although his comments to the newspaper indicate that he’s hesitant about opening a bar there. He notes that the building would need ten floors of residential space to be financially viable.
Sergakis also made the questionable declaration that a bar wouldn’t work in the space because “the 5 à 7 was something that worked 15 or 20 years ago, but not anymore”. (To be fair, while the 5 à 7 is most certainly alive and well in Montreal, Sergakis is probably correct that people don’t do happy hour on Crescent Street these days).
CBC’s article also raises the prospect of the a residential development taking over Thursday’s, even suggesting that the building could be demolished— however, in the same piece, a representative for the Crescent Street Merchants Association rebuffs this, noting that the Thursday’s building has heritage status, meaning that demolition or substantial changes would be difficult or impossible.
So, could a new bar or restaurant open in it? That seems reasonably likely, but over at CTV, Bernard Ragueneau pointed out that the venue draws hefty property taxes, to the tune of $300,000. That makes it unlikely that somebody would open up a single bar or club taking over the entire space, although it’s still possible that an array of smaller businesses could instead move in (a prospect that CBC’s reporting also raised).
The Gazette followed up its story on the closure with further reporting that put paid to the idea of Thursday’s or another bar reopening — Torrance Ragueneau told the newspaper that potential buyers for the building aren’t interested in the hospitality business, suggesting that they’re more interested in residential development.
In short: Thursday’s looks pretty dead, and while nobody knows who’s buying the building, you can probably take your pick between “condos” and “Sergakis condos”.