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Brasserie T! announces immediate closure; 130 workers laid off


Brasserie T! announced on Wednesday its immediate closure and that 130 workers were laid off.

The co-owners, chef Normand Laprise and Christine Lamarche, made the announcement on Wednesday in a news release, citing operating costs, the negative impact of inflation and staff turnover.

Brasserie T! had several locations, including Montreal's Mile-End/Parc-Extension district, in Sainte-Thérèse and Brossard, at the Comptoir-Épicerie on Beaumont Avenue in Montreal, and at Burger T! in Montreal's Time Out Market.

"The shareholders are already looking for professionals in this field willing to acquire the establishments concerned and hire the current employees," reads the release.

It said workers were notified of the news on Wednesday morning and that the owners want to help them in their search for restaurant positions.

Toqué! restaurant, the flagship of the group led by Normand Laprise, remains in operation and will open on Jan. 10 after the holiday break.

According to Laprise, chef and co-founder of the group, Brasserie T! "was running well," and its traffic was "good," but the pandemic occurred at the worst time in the restaurants' development.

The expansion plan launched in 2019 included a production kitchen and the opening of five Brasserie T! restos, he pointed out in the release, saying he decided to close "with regret and as a very last resort."

"The operating costs of our production kitchen, located on Beaumont, were too high to supply just three branches. So our operations were in deficit. Without the pandemic, development would already be over," he said.

As for inflation, he cited the rising cost of raw materials, construction and wages.

Toqué! marked its 30th anniversary last year, and Laprise and Lamarche say they want to ensure it has a future.

"Even if the situation at Brasserie T! has weakened their group financially, the duo is hopeful of stabilizing the situation quickly over the coming months," reads the press release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 3, 2024. Top Stories

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