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Iconic Montreal poutine spot La Banquise has been sold

La Banquise, the poutine restaurant in Montreal's Plateau that is rarely without a queue, has been sold.

Co-owners Annie Barsalou and Marc Latendresse took over the business from Pierre Barsalou, Annie's father, in 1994. Now, they've sold it to Chez Ashton owners Emily Adam and Jean-Christophe Lirette.

"We're not getting any younger," said Barsalou with a laugh. "It's 24 hours you know so i think that takes a lot on you."

What started out as a small ice cream shop is now one of the most renowned poutine spots in Montreal.

"La Banquise, it's more than just a meal," said Barsalou. "The ambiance is there for sure, the spirit of all the team. I think we made sure that when you come at La Banquise you're going to have a great meal, good poutine."

The new owners said they plan to keep it the way it is.

"La Banquise will stay La Banquise," said Adam. "We're really here to reassure people we aren't going to change a winning recipe. The team will stay the same. Everyone is keeping their jobs."

The pair took over the poutine chain Chez Ashton last year and own a popular snack bar called Ti-Oui in their home town of Saint-Raymond.

They said purchasing La Banquise was an opportunity they couldn't pass up.

"When we got the call, it was a no-brainer," said Lirette.

Poutine Week founder Na'eem Adam said he hopes the new owners stay true to their word.

"It wasn't just this corporate top to bottom. These are the recipes, this is what's going to sell," he said. "They really let the staff get into the mix and develop their own concoctions and recipes."

"If they maintain the same taste standard, people are going to come. They're going to eat again the same food, because they expect good food on the reputation they already built."

The new owners said they have no plans to franchise the restaurant, only to preserve what's already working so well. Top Stories

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