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After Drawing Queues in Verdun, Can Jack le Coq’s Crisp Fried Chicken Win Over Mile End, Too?

Plus, an American diner dishing out Vietnamese food, a body shop serving coffee, and NDG’s Shaika Café on a hunt for a buyer

A hand dips a fried chicken leg into a paper cup of brown gravy.

MILE END — With exactly one month under its belt and a whole lot of hype generated from the opening of its Verdun location, Montreal’s latest fried chicken slinger, Jack le Coq, will be turning its attention to Mile End next. No, it isn’t settling in a building owned by the neighbourhood’s most scorned landlord, but it is taking over a locale that’s seen its fair share of turnover through the years, including restaurants like LìOLà Pizzeria, Un Autre Resto, and Café Locale.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Jack le Coq plans to begin selling its menu of “Quebec-style” fried chicken (in a box, tender, or sandwich form) at 200 Saint-Viateur West, as of this May. (Eater had previously reported that both the Verdun and Mile End locations would be opening in February 2021, as per a now-deleted Facebook post.)

Commence à faire beau.

En ce vendredi 12 mars, il fait beau mais on a besoin de 25 degrés Celsius.

Posted by Jack Le Coq on Friday, March 12, 2021

Word is that its crisp fried bird is good — really good — and while its Wellington Street location has racked up long queues and glowing reviews in its first month of existence (having taken over the location of the last standalone Dunkin’ Donuts in Montreal), Jack le Coq may be a tougher sell to the Mile End crowd. For one, some in the neighbourhood may have already pledged their allegiance to another fried chicken purveyor, Roch le Coq, which in addition to sporting a strikingly similar name, is located less than two kilometres away, in Outremont.

Saint-Viateur is also already replete with fast-casual spots, such as steakhouse La Queue de Cheval’s burger restaurant QDC Burger and New York-style pizzeria Slice + Soda, and its residents may feel lukewarm about welcoming one more chain-in-the-making given the recent outcry over the neighbourhood’s shifting landscape. Though Jack le Coq’s Mile End location would only be its second, its hope is to open up to eight by the end of the year, according to Journal Métro. Meanwhile, owner Jacques Gaspo, formerly of Quebec franchiser Foodtastic, which backs local chains La Belle & La Boeuf, Monza, L’Gros Luxe, and others, told Montreal Gazette he’s vying for a total of 20 to 40 outposts in the long haul.

Jack le Coq’s second location is slated to open at 200 Saint-Viateur in May. Its first location, in Verdun, is located at 4501 Wellington Street.

NOTRE-DAME-DE-GRÂCE — Beloved NDG coffee shop, performance venue, and art exhibition space Shaika Café is officially on the market. The Sherbrooke Street West café — the business, not the building — is selling for $158,000 with Groupe Sutton, reports Montreal Gazette. While many restaurants across the city have shuttered at the hands of the pandemic, Shaika owners tell Eater that in their case, the sale was part of the plan even before the coronavirus struck.

PLATEAU — Saint-Denis Street newcomer La Petite Dînette opened the doors to its 1950s jukebox-equipped, American-diner-styled space last week. In a video posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page, owner Peter Nguyen Huu Nghia says that the inspiration he’s drawn from retro American pop culture ends at the decor. Food-wise, he’s mainly drawing on Vietnamese traditions, with spring rolls, fried fish balls, and pho. However, the menu also boasts Korean pogos, something called a ramen shake, and poutine scooped into what looks like a Belgian waffle ice cream cone. It’s all reasonably priced, with the most expensive menu items topping out at $8.95

La Petite Dînette is open daily at 4186 Saint-Denis.

LA PETITE PATRIE — Coming for Jean-Talon East, just west of Christophe-Colomb, is a new venture fusing motorcycle repairs and coffee, reports Silo 57. Idle Garage & Café, it seems, will be a place where motorcycle enthusiasts, people wanting to fix their cars themselves (but with the proper tools and mechanic supervision on hand), and coffee-seekers are all welcome. According to Idle’s Facebook page, the opening of “the hottest garage and the loudest coffee shop in Quebec” is slated for May.

Idle Garage & Café will open at 900 Jean-Talon East this spring.

NOTRE-DAME-DE-GRÂCE — Operating out of Monkland Avenue’s Café Pigeon (where St-Viateur Bagel once was) is a new pop-up specializing in the thick, yet airy, rectangularly-shaped pizza style hailing from Detroit. Every Fungool pie is fractioned into six slices, Cult reports, and flavours range from classic margherita to an inventive steak and pepperoni sub take, with the tomato sauce — true to form — drizzled on top.

Pizza Fungool is temporarily located at 5625 Monkland Avenue, where it is open from Thursdays to Sundays.

GRIFFINTOWN — Prominent Montreal restaurateur Yann Levy (Biiru, La Habanera, Escondite, and others) and mixologist Lawrence Picard are opening a second Boba Boba location this spring, Nightlife reports. The bubble tea shop, which serves creative pandan horchata and guava matcha versions of the drink, has been open on Sainte-Catherine Street near Concordia since last summer, and is now making its way to Griffintown, with a new summer menu in hand.

Boba Boba is open Thursdays to Sundays and Tuesdays at 1972 Saint-Catherine.