MONTREAL -- Moishes Steakhouse has been a fixture on St. Laurent Blvd. for 83 years, but it's leaving that storied location -- and the pandemic is putting it on hiatus. No Moishes will exist for a while.

Still, while devoted customers won’t get a chance to have a last meal at the original restaurant on the Main, fear not. Its management says the steakhouse will reopen in another Montreal location when the time is right.

That didn't stop longtime customers from taking to social media on Wednesday to mourn the closing of the restaurant as Montreal has known it.

The restaurant's management says that a move, however, was already in the works.

In late 2018, Lenny Lighter sold Moishes to the owners of La Cage Sports bar, with Lighter named as its corporate director.

The group had planned to move the famed eatery from 3691 St. Laurent to a new location at Victoria Square, with $5 million budgeted for renovations.

But before they could realize that plan, the pandemic struck.

“One of the reasons we were moving was to put ourselves in a position here where we were very close to the corporate centre, where people were working, they would walk to the restaurant for lunch, they would come for 5-à-7,” explained Lighter. The new location would have also been close to many hotels, he added.

COVID-19 closed down the tourist industry, however, plus most corporate offices. Lighter says all the “great plans we had are on hold.”

But he says a comeback for Moishes is still in the works, just with more uncertain timing.