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Planned Construction in Front of Provisions 418 Postponed After Restaurant Issues Plea for Help

Plus, fewer restaurant bankruptcies in 2020, a new Burgundy Lion Group restaurant in the works, and the enduring battle of no-shows

blue storefront with name provisions Boucherie Provisions/Facebook

PLATEAU — Officials of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough have heeded minuscule Gilford Street restaurant Provisions 418’s cry for help and postponed construction plans that would have forced it to remove its terrasse this summer. The restaurant’s management shared the good news this evening in an Instagram post, thanking those who helped amplify its voice.

A day earlier, the restaurant had published a post explaining that last month a note had been appended to its door, stating that construction related to an aqueduct project would be conducted on the street from June 11 to August 27. As a result, the restaurant’s terrasse would have to be deconstructed and removed for the summer.

The post explains that the restaurant’s dining room is “as big as a wardrobe,” and that its terrasse is its main attraction. “If this work takes place, the company will have to close,” it said, adding that the street had been closed for the construction of parklets in 2019 as well, and that it expects to encounter more construction-related obstacles in 2022. “We never believed that it would be the City of Montreal and not COVID that would finish us off,” it said.

CITY-WIDE — Montreal saw fewer restaurant and bar bankruptcies in 2020 than in 2019, according to a report in Journal Metro. Citing statistics provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada, the news outlet reports that 92 establishments folded in 2020, compared to 102 in 2019. In 2018, the count stood at 88. These numbers don’t seem to account for establishments that closed for reasons other than bankruptcy.

The news may come as a surprise given the widely reported industry-overhauling impact of the pandemic and the extent of government mandated closures, but as Metro notes, government aid likely helped to offset some of that — for now. It still remains to be seen how the city’s hospitality industry will fare in this second year of the pandemic, with many hobbled by mounting debt.

OLD MONTREAL — Yesterday, Montreal developer Jesta Group announced plans for the transformation of Place Gare Viger into “the most progressive mixed-use development in the city.” The project will include apartments, office spaces, a 36,000-square-foot courtyard, and a Hyatt hotel with a restaurant run by the Burgundy Lion Group, known for such popular Montreal establishments as Bishop & Bagg, Brit & Chips, Wolf & Workman, and, of course, go-to Saint-Henri pub Burgundy Lion.

CITY-WIDE — Watching restaurants flounder financially for 15 month doesn’t seem to be enough to convince certain diners to kick their careless no-show habit. According to CTV, the “unsavoury behaviour” is alive and well.

The impact of no-shows, however, is now compounded by ongoing coronavirus restrictions, such as mandatory reservations, two-meter spacing between tables, and a presumably smaller pool of prospective clients dining out at the moment due to lingering virus-related concerns. Restaurants have confront many challenges throughout the pandemic, including having to shift to takeout-only operations, make sense of fluctuating restrictions, and fight for government aid. So, Montreal diners, just make the call to cancel your reservation, or log on to Resy for those couple of seconds it takes to — easily but significantly — free the table for someone else.

Update: June 16, 2021, 11:45 p.m.: This post has been updated to include news that the construction planned for Gilford Street, in from of Provisions 418, has been postponed to 2022.

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