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La Petite-Patrie Wine Nook Cul-Sec Bids Adieu

Plus, a West Island pay-what-you-can café, a dispute involving the Zellers Restaurant brand, and the acquisition of a Quebec tartare chain

Beaubien Street wine bar and shop Cul-Sec has permanently shut down. Montreal chef, restaurateur, and Cul-Sec co-owner Martin Juneau shared the news on Instagram yesterday, saying that he and his business partner Loui-Philippe Breton (with whom he also owns popular Little Italy restaurant Pastaga) had just signed a lease assignment agreement, but did not specify who would be taking over the space. Juneau called the six-and-a-half-year-old wine bar a “collateral victim” of the pandemic and local construction works. The pair also recently shed their neighbourhood grocery shop Le Petit Coin (now home to Pizza Bouquet) and ice cream counter Monsieur Crémeux (soon to become J’ai Feng), both also on Beaubien, but have newly made their way to the Garment District, with an agreement to operate new daytime brasserie Chabanelle.

Quebec Tartare Chain to Get Acquired by Local Franchisor

MTY Group, the same Montreal-headquartered restaurant franchisor behind Allô! Mon Coco, Baton Rouge, and Mikes, has announced plans to acquire fast-growing Quebec tartare chain Küto Comptoir à Tartares, which in five years has launched 31 locations across the province. The statement did not disclose the sum of the agreement, but did say that it is likely to pass within the next 30 days, pending conditions.

Hudson’s Bay Alleges Unauthorized Use of Various Zellers Brands, Including the Zellers Restaurant

Canadian department store company Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC) is suing the Quebec-based Moniz family over recent trademark applications for several HBC-owned Zellers brands, including its in-store Zellers restaurant.

HBC says that although it closed its last Zellers brick-and-mortar in 2020, it plans to keep using the brand and accuses the Moniz family of “trademark infringement, depreciation of goodwill and so-called passing off — the deceptive marketing or misrepresentation of goods,” according to a report by the Canadian Press (via CTV). Last summer, HBC hosted a Zellers pop-up inside a Hudson’s Bay store in Burlington, Ontario, and reportedly plans to do the same at east end Montreal mall Galeries d’Anjou. An HBC spokesperson is quoted in the article saying that the pop-ups are meant to “delight our customers with a fun and nostalgic experience with one of HBC’s most beloved brands.” No word yet on whether efforts to mine Zellers nostalgia will eventually lead to a return for the Canadian retailer’s in-store diner menu of grilled cheese, club sandwiches, and breakfast platters.

A Pay-What-You-Can Café Comes to the West Island

West Island food bank On Rock Community Services moved its on-site coffee shop Le Spot to a neighbouring standalone location in Pierrefonds on Saturday. Customers are invited to pay what they can for all items on the menu and, when possible, to pay it forward by purchasing a food item for the next person who may need it. According to a Global News report, the food bank has seen a 30 percent increase in demand for its services during the pandemic, and hopes moving its eatery next door will help it regain some storage space.