Montreal restaurants that have closed during the pandemic

Jan 12 2021, 9:47 am

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a devastating time for local businesses, specifically in the hospitality sector, and an alarming amount of places have been forced to permanently hang up their chairs as a result.

Over the fall, Quebec restaurant owners penned an open letter to Premier François Legault stating they felt “betrayed” after adjusting their dining rooms to accommodate the pandemic’s first wave, only to have to shut down again during the province’s most recent lockdown.

The letter was signed by 40 major players in Quebec’s restaurant business, including Le Groupe Sportscene (La Cage franchises), St-Hubert, the MTY Group (Bâton Rouge, Dagwoods, Allô! Mon Coco), Normandin, and renowned French chef Jérôme Ferrer.

Restaurateurs have pleaded their case for the right to welcome customers again, lobbying that they can offer “safe supervision” to clients while adhering to the guidelines put forth by public health.

The province’s new tightened restrictions (along with the curfew) has put an even thicker obstacle for restaurateurs, who now rely solely on takeout, some only up until 7:30 pm.

Here is a list of Montreal spots that have closed amid the pandemic. We’ll be updating this list periodically as more restaurants are constrained to close due to prolonged lockdown measures.

Grumman ’78

 

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A post shared by Gaelle Cerf (@grumman78)

After temporarily taking a break during October amid the second wave of lockdowns, Grumman’s announced it would cease operations and held its last shift on October 19, after ten years of operation.

“The year 2020 has brought its share of emotions and bad news, and our old truck and its legendary garage will have unfortunately paid the price,” said Grumman 78 owner Gaelle Cerf in a Facebook farewell video.

L’Entrecôte Saint-Jean

L’Entrecôte closed up its doors after 29 years of serving delicious steak-frites from its stylish French bistro on Peel Street.

Moishes

 

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After 83 years of business, Moishes, the iconic Jewish steakhouse in the Plateau, had to call it quits. Moishes had overcome World War II, the ice storm of 1998, and economic turmoil through the years, but the pandemic was too much to handle.

House of Jazz

 

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A fan favourite on the jazz scene, Montreal’s House of Jazz closed for good at the end of June.

House of Jazz opened in 1981, and the venue was ideal for live music. Its sister location in Laval reopened to the public on June 25 and is still up and running.

Bar-B-Barn

Bar B Barn/Facebook

Bar B Barn, the landmark BBQ spot, which has been in operation on Guy Street since 1967, wasn’t able to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has forced ownership to face a harsh reality the restaurant simply cannot continue to financially support itself,” said the restaurant’s owner. “Our building is too narrow, and our dining rooms too small for us to be able to safely and properly serve customers while still generating enough sales and revenue to keep the lights on.”

Esquina

Esquina was a go-to spot in The Plateau, thanks to its proximity to concert halls, parks, and restaurants. In a June Facebook post, the cafe said it was unable to handle the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

“This is what marks the end of Esquina’s life,” reads the post. “It’s time to say goodbye.”

Cosmos

Arguably, Montreal’s most famous greasy spoon breakfast spot, Cosmos, was forced to close over the summer after 53 years in business in a small nook off Sherbrooke in NDG.

Le Blumenthal

 

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Le Blumenthal, a gorgeous bistro that opened in 2017 at the Quartier des Spectacles, announced it wouldn’t be able to overcome the government’s second lockdown in October.

Balsam Inn

 

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Balsam Inn, the warm and cozy spot smack in the middle of downtown Montreal was forced to close its doors after the second lockdown.

The popular Inn closed “as a result of difficulties related to the pandemic,” said the resto’s social media post.

Agrikol

 

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Montreal’s most well-known Haitian spot Agrikol announced it would be closing its doors “for the foreseeable future” in late December. Opened in 2016 by Arcade Fire members Win Butler and Régine Chassagne in 2016, the restaurant’s social media post said this was more of a “see you soon” than a goodbye.

La Récolte Espace Local

La Récolte Espace Local, a restaurant right off the Jean-Talon Market that specialized in organic and locally sourced creations, was forced to close permanently after seven years.

La Caverne

La Caverne/Website

La Caverne, a Russian and Eastern European spot decorated with moose heads and bear skins, closed its doors shortly after the end of the second lockdown. To make this loss a little more bearable, they have been sharing memories and pandemic memes on their Facebook page since the announcement.

La Pizzaiolle Plateau

 

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The structure of La Pizzaiolle’s Plateau location was brought from Boston and reassembled in Montreal in 1993. After months of lockdown, the 1950s American diner-style restaurant was place for sale, though La Pizzaiolle’s Ville Mont-Royal location remains open.

Ninkasi Simple Malt

Ninkasi Simple Malt, a microbrewery and comfort food place in the Mile-End, announced its “death” on Facebook after the second lockdown. Born from the 2019 fusion between microbreweries Ninkasi de Québec and Medley Simple Malt, the spot’s Facebook page says this wasn’t the end of their partnership, hoping to revive the project after the pandemic’s “dust has settled.”

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