Canadian real estate company Ivanhoe Cambridge is renovating the Place Ville Marie in downtown Montreal, turning a tired underground food court into a culinary destination. Expected to open in 2019, the pedestrian walkway that runs between Rene-Levesque Blvd. and Rue Cathcart will be transformed into a visually-stunning Esplanade that will be programmed year-round with experiences. Below the Esplanade will be the brand-new “Le Cathcart Restaurants et Biergarten”. According to Ivanhoe Cambridge, the Biergarten will feature 15-different restaurants concepts including bars, grab-n-go, cafes, and full-service bistros. The space will fit over 1,000 diners at a time, ensuring that everyone has a seat during busy lunch hours where office workers will likely intermingle with tourists. Several high-profile local Montreal chefs have confirmed that they will be taking part of the endevour, although I do hope that several of the spaces are given the reigns to local up-and-coming chefs who can introduce something new and exciting.
Aside from the food, the architects of the project have interestingly incorporated an all-glass panel rooftop to the underground biergarten. This will create the feeling of an indoor-outdoor “market hall”. The space previously had 4 skylights that allowed minimal light to flow through. The glass roof will allow visitors of the biergarten to have a feeling that they are outside, even when dining during bitterly-cold Montreal winters.
I can see this project being very successful based on its highly strategic location. With several major hotels (including The Fairmont), thousands of nearby office workers, tourists, Montreal’s Eaton Centre, and McGill University anchoring the opposite end of McGill College Avenue, there are plentiful opportunities to bring in a wide-variety of customers throughout the day.
I’m very excited to see how the project is delivered based on the renderings.