Renowned Montreal steakhouse Moishes is set to make a comeback of sorts. However, the restaurant won’t be reopening at its iconic spot on the Main but rather in the more corporate surrounds of Square Victoria.
According to various reports, construction on the new location — taking over the former Houston Avenue Bar & Grill on the corner of Viger — is slated to kick off in May, in hopes of welcoming diners in the late fall.
In December 2018, Quebec’s Sportscene Group, which owns sports bar chain La Cage, purchased Moishes, with owner Lenny Lighter, son of restaurant founder Moishe Lighter, becoming its corporate director. Opened in 1938, Moishes had been expected to move downtown after its lease at 3961 St-Laurent expired in 2020. But then the pandemic hit.
Now Sportscene president Jean Bédard tells CTV plans for the new location are back on track and were developed alongside Lighter.
It’s unlikely that the new digs will be able to replicate the look and feel of the Plateau original — but owners are trying. Bédard told the Montreal Gazette that the restaurant will comprise three dining areas, one of which will be decorated with artwork from the Main location and feature similar lighting. A second room will feature large windows and a bar, and the third will have an open kitchen and overall more modern look, likely meant to appeal to some of the downtown office crowd.
As for the food, Bédard says Moishes’ steak, coleslaw, and pickles have earned their keep but that the menu will be revamped to reflect current dietary preferences. (Specifically, he notes that it can go further with its fish options, though Moishes’ 2018 menu already had organic salmon, Alaskan black cod, and grilled shrimp.)
Sportscene also owns the rights to Moishes’ retail products, sold in grocery stores, and with its forthcoming revival, it plans to expand that side of the business further.