“We picked up Joes during the first round of lockdowns. We were regulars of the old spot, and when we heard it was closing, jumped in to keep it open and as it was. We didn’t know much about the industry, but we worked hard, brought on some great people, and did our best for as long as we could. Unfortunately, a year and a half later and in another round of lockdowns, we are making the decision to close,” the Facebook post says.
Outgoing ownership says their decision doesn’t have to spell the end for the neighbourhood brunch staple: “We are closing now to give us an opportunity to transition to whoever in the community is next up in the stewardship of Joes.”
This wouldn’t be the first time the St-Antoine Street mainstay changes hands. Before current owners Brandon Tyre and Matt McKay, former Café Joe staff members Jake Robert and Morgan Lee Williams stepped in to purchase the joint in 2018 from Eric Hanson. According to a 2018 interview with Williams published in Cult Montreal, Hanson was himself a former Café Joe employee who’d bought the business from a previous owner. Last spring, Tyre told Eater that he and McKay — who both work in tech — picked up the spot because they couldn’t bear to see it go.
Sunday, February 6, was the restaurant’s last day — under current ownership.