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Continental burnt down

There was a major fire on St-Denis near Rachel, today. Among the casualties are Continental, L'Barouf, Le Gymnase and the new cafe on the corner. The fire started in the Fruits et Passion just down the block.

Four firefighters had to be sent to hospital.


Sorry for posting a french article, but it's only one I could find.

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    1. Terrible news. L'Barouf is a very popular place as well, and a rallying point for France footie fans. Thanks for the two articles from La Presse and the Gazette.

      1. Hope this doesn't sound out of place and if it does, the message will be removed, but why would we have to apologize for posting an article in French? Many of the contributors to this board have French as their first language. ;-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Campofiorin

          C'est bien vrai, mais ce site est en anglais et basé aux États-Unis, et ce ne sont pas seulement des montréalais qui le lisent. When in Rome...

        2. In a radio interview this morning, the chief firefighter at the scene said the building that housed Continental has been torn down as a safety measure and the damage to L'Barouf was so extensive he was sure the owners would want to scrap it too.

          1. That is so sad. I looooove 'Barouf.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mainsqueeze

              Barouf owner says he is going to rebuild.

            2. This is indeed very sad news. I just passed by the Continental... the only things left are the stainless steel pillars.

              1. I had dinner there last Thursday and I am glad I had dinner there because we don't know when or where they will reopen. I can say I had their bavette de boeuf recently! I hope that it will reopen with the same formula because it was a very good restaurant with affordable meals and wine. Every restaurateur now thinks they can charge the prices of Le toqué and Au pied du cochon and that everyone will follow them. We say this year with the closures of Anise and Les chèvres that people don't always want to pay 150$ per person for dinner! You could eat at Le continental for under 75$ per person and it is now hard to find french restaurants where you can do that.

                I hope that the waiters will find a job soon and that the owner will start reconstruction plans soon!

                1. this breaks my heart. i loved the Continental, a friend of mine used to be a sous chef there and would always bring us some left overs. yum. Being in LA now for a number of years i haven't been back to that place in over 8 years. Sad to think it might just get levelled along with L'Barouf(great beer!). Montreal will be lessened by these disappearances.

                  1. My wife and I, coming up from Washington, D.C., had an 8:30 reservation there, which we thought would give us plenty of time to find our hotel and check in after our 6:30 arrival. Amtrak and Canadian customs took their sweet time, however, and we were feeling guilty about not being able to call and cancel as the train neared Montreal around ... 8:30. We saw a plume of smoke on the skyline but didn't think much of it. We called to re-reserve and got a busy signal ... but didn't think much of it. Then our cabbie told us the fire was near that section of Rue St.-Denis, so that plus the busy signal gave me an eerie feeling, especially when it was precisely that block that was closed off and full of firetrucks. It wasn't until after dinner at L'Express that we found out the fire was indeed where we intended to have the first meal of our visit. I haven't jinxed any spots with further reservations.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

                      Ah...the joys of traveling with Amtrak!! I went to NY at the beginning of July and got to NY 2 1/2 hours late! When we came back, it was better....only 1 1/2 hours:)

                      I don't like l'express as much as I did Le continental. It will be missed..snif..snif..

                      1. re: cricri7

                        The Continental owner vows to rebuild. From the Gazette:

                        A co-owner of the French bistro Le Continental, a Montreal institution renowned for a rare combination of good food, excellent wines and reasonable prices, vowed to return after the business he spent 15 years cultivating burned to the ground Monday evening.

                        "There are worse things in life," Alain Rochard said. "These were just material items that were lost, but the soul of the restaurant was in its people and the food, and the spirit of making people feel at home, and that will return."

                        1. re: Fritzy

                          If I'm not mistaken Continental was one of the places Rachel Ray dropped by on her $40/day show when they featured Montreal. The prices did seem reasonable but I never got around to eating there, it's good to know they will be rebuilding.

                          I heard about the fire on the radio this morning... When I checked the Gazette link above, it doesn't really say what caused the fire. It's ironic how it started at the F&P (non-food related) as opposed to a kitchen fire from surrounding restos/cafes.

                          1. re: Yummy Stuff

                            The investigation is ongoing but the wiring or another electrical problem at the back of the Fruits et Passion store is suspected.

                            The owners of L'Barouf and Le Continental have both reiterated their vow to reopen as soon as possible. Le Continental's Rochard says the resto may relocate -- he didn't specify whether temporarily or permanently -- and be back in business by the end of August.

                    2. Here is a longer article in the Gazette: http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette...

                      This also means 15 tenants in the street, and of course business owners out-of-pocket and workers out of work. Indeed I remember many fires on St-Denis - I used to live on Drolet just behind it and moved because of all the fires, but this was decades ago. The buildings were originally greystone row houses, most not built for restaurants and other businesses.

                      L'Barouf was party central for France football (soccer) fans and their many Québécois supporters... And indeed Le Continental occupied a special place among restaurants here.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lagatta

                        I walked by there on friday and saw people clearing up the barouf so renovations are underway.