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Le Restaurant Chez Clo

Le Restaurant Chez Clo

Le Restaurant Chez Clo

A restaurant owner with a big heart

Montréal (Quebec), Canada

The beginnings

What began in the late 1980s as a convenience store with a small corner restaurant has become an institution when it comes to catering  in the neighborhood. Clo got up every morning at 4:00 to take care of business. To meet the demand, she enlarged several times and even bought the building. A small restaurant decorated like in the 1950s occupied the ground floor and two apartments were upstairs. A terrace was added to the set.

From poor to millionaire

Chez Clo proposed the typical Quebec family food. Tourists often gathered to taste this cuisine like the locals, artists and politicians, not to mention the many taxi drivers ! Denise Filiatrault, Raymond Lévesque, Laurence Jalbert, former Mayor Bourque, Louise Harel and many others could enjoy the comfort food of Clo. She has also won awards for her poutines, meat pies and her famous «tournière du Lac Saint-Jean» . «The real one» she says. At the counter, you could even get these homemade dishes to-go !

A tradition is born

In 1992, Restaurant Chez Clo decides to offer free breakfast for Christmas to poor or homeless. Beneficiaries of over forty organizations in the region of Montreal are invited to celebrate Christmas with a delicious and supportive meal. For nearly 20 years, the restaurant will serve about 700 meals at this event, which return every year, to the delight of the guests.

Everything goes up in smoke

One evening in June 2011, after major renovations, a suspect origin fire starts in the rear of the building. The fire carries the restaurant as well as the two dwelling units. There were no injuries but the restaurant was severely damaged and 7 people were left homeless. Restaurant Chez Clo, that has become an institution, will never reborn from its ashes. Abandoned since the fire, apartments were squatted. If certain rooms leave no doubt about the use of the premises by junkies, others have a more elaborate decoration, where it seems to be good to live ... when the only alternative you have is the street. Let's bet that Clo and her big heart would have liked the idea that this place was still serving the poor despite everything.

Renewal in the neighborhood

The day after our visit, where we had fun to stage a last meal amid the rubble, we learned that the mayor of the borough of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve had just  presented the highlights of the district's board meeting of April 1st, 2014. Among the projects that will be subject to a public consultation, there is the construction of a building of 12 apartments and a commercial space on the ground floor, where was located Restaurant Chez Clo.

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