Cafe Ferrari is closing its doors.

The Italian restaurant has served pasta and traditional dishes from its Bishop St. location for nearly four decades.

But constant construction has pushed owner Elio Schiavi to his limit.

"I'm pissed off," he said. "Sometimes, I'm pissed off, but what are you going to do?"

The stretch of Bishop St. just north of Ste-Catherine St. has been a tangle of concrete and steel for two and a half years; the STM is building a new ventilation station in the area. Barriers and digging have blocked easy access to a line of cafes, shops and restaurants. Several closed, citing financial hardships: Mesa 14, Kafien, le Gourmet burger and Craft grilled cheese.

Schiavi asked the city of Montreal for compensation for lost revenue due to the construction but was denied.

"There is one thing that bothers me because they announce it 'oh! $25 million during the job!' and to us, they give nothing during the job. They told me no, there is no money for you. I apply for it; they said no," he said.

Montreal has compensated merchants for lost business before: Plaza St-Hubert merchants could apply for funds under a new program in 2018, but many of the Bishop St. merchants were ineligible.

The municipal opposition said the compensation program is onerous, and the qualification criteria it too restrictive.

"What they should have done is allowed [business owners] to have a reduction in taxes during the work, the year of the work that is done," said Lionel Perez from Ensemble Montreal. "Right now, you have to be able to survive the construction, hopefully be able to still be around and then ask for compensation after the fact.

Schiavi said he planned to sell the restaurant for his retirement, but no one will buy it.

"I lost my pension. I lost my living, for the rest of my life," he said.

The restaurant is closing November 16--when that happens, the 76-year-old will try to find a new job.  

With files from Emily Campbell