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A Drummondville Restaurant Temporarily Revises Its Branding Because Putin’s Last Name Is Spelled “Poutine” in French

Plus, the SAQ removes Russian vodka from its shelves and Quebec bars reopen

plate of poutine
Le Roy Jucep’s poutine
Le Roy Jucep/Facebook

Le Roy Jucep, a Drummondville diner regarded as the possible birthplace of poutine, decided to rename the dish last week — a move it says was prompted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On February 24, Le Roy Jucep posted on Facebook that it would be temporarily referring to the dish as “la frite fromage sauce” (which translates to “the fry cheese gravy”) in an “expression of dismay” toward the situation in the Ukraine. The Quebec specialty of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds bears no relation to Russia or its dictator, other than the fact that in French, Vladimir Putin’s last name is spelled “Poutine.” (If there were a restaurant in need of renaming, it would have probably been downtown spot Vladimir Poutine, which opened in 2017, but has since permanently closed.)

The post announcing the change and revealing a revised logo sporting Ukrainian blue and yellow and the slogan “the inventor of the fry cheese gravy” was deleted the following morning. It was replaced with a post recounting that the restaurant had received threats via telephone after making the announcement. That post has also since been deleted, though the restaurant’s page name still features the revised dish name, even though its bio and logo still call the iconic Québécois dish by its actual name.

Eater has reached out to Le Roy Jucep for comment.

The SAQ Removes Russian Vodka From Shelves

The “10 or so Russian products” sold at the SAQ are being pulled off shelves in a show of solidarity with Ukraine, CTV reports. The news was announced on Friday; on the same day, Ontario and Nova Scotia also announced that they’d stop selling Russian-made products at their government-run liquor outlets.

Quebec Bars Reopen at Half Capacity Today

Bars in Quebec may reopen at 50 percent capacity today, February 28, as the province continues to relax coronavirus health measures. Last call is at midnight, with closing an hour later, but dancing and karaoke remain banned until March 14. (Restaurant operating hours are also being extended to match those of bars.)

Earlier this month, premier François Legault announced a timeline for easing coronavirus measures, which broadly conclude on March 14. On that day, remaining capacity limitations on restaurants and bars will be removed, opening hours will return to normal, dancing and karaoke will once more be permitted, and vaccine passports will no longer be mandatory to enter these businesses.

Quebec bars were ordered closed on December 20, 2021, due to the surge of the omicron variant.