Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Cacao 70’s factory was closed to the public — it is still open, although it is now a smaller operation.
Montreal-based chocolate chain Cacao 70 has dialled back its open-to-the-public factory in Pointe-St-Charles’ Nordelec building, bringing brunch and lunch restaurant Le Passé Composé into part of that space.
The large, airy space is now in part a new location for that Village restaurant, marking its first expansion outside its de Maisonneuve location.
Le Passé Composé is already open for business in the building — the restaurant’s menu is geared a little more towards lunch than the brunch focus at its original Village location (it’s also closed on weekends, peak brunch hours). On the menu are hearty salads, sandwiches, and fancy grilled cheeses all have prominent spots on the menu, alongside just a couple of brunch options like “French toast fries” and a lox bagel.
Now, Cacao 70 has less of a presence in the 8,000 square foot space, which it opened in 2017 with a promising chocolatier at its helm. At the time, a chunk of the factory space was occupied by a large, café-like operation showcasing Cacao 70’s products.
That former Cacao 70 café section now appears to be mostly occupied by Le Passé Composé (although a Cacao 70 representative notes that the company is working with Le Passé Composé in the venture to some degree: for example, the new restaurant is serving some Cacao 70 drinks and products).
However, Cacao 70’s factory has not closed down — the company still has a retail operation in the space, and its factory it still making products and offering some public tours. It also has offices in the building.
It’s unclear why Cacao 70 shrunk down what was effectively its flagship location. It’s quite possible that the large space just wasn’t that commercially viable as an operation that focused entirely on chocolate. Office workers and condo-dwellers in the area may not be visiting a large chocolate shop on a regular basis the same way they might a coffee shop — so bringing in Le Passé Composé does seem to temper that issue a bit by broadening the offerings.
For comparison, other businesses that have set up shop in there (or are planning to) are fairly service-oriented spots — for example, a small counter for coffee shop September Surf, or a forthcoming take-out location for taqueria Grumman78.
STATUS — Le Passé Composé is open at 1751 Richardson, suite T10 (in the Nordelec building) from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.