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Le Biftheque on Côte-de-Liesse torn down

Le Biftheque on Côte-de-Liesse, has been demolished. (Global News).

A famous Montreal steakhouse, and landmark, is gone. Le Biftheque on  Côte-de-Liesse Road in the borough of Saint-Laurent, for decades a favourite of many Montrealers, has been torn down.

The restaurant has had a rough go recently.  It closed in 2011, reopened, and closed again in 2015. Because the building has been abandoned for years, the borough of Saint-Laurent says it had ultimately become unsafe.

“So in that sense,” explains borough mayor Alan DeSousa, “even though we’re losing a bit of familiarity of what we’ve known over the years, in this case for the safety of the community and of people in the area, it made sense.”

Several long-time patrons say the Biftheque has been part of their lives for many years.

Ralph Longo works in the area and says it’s a huge loss.  “I came here many times with my family when I was a kid,” he tells Global News, “and it’s been an icon on the street.”

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Concordia University communications studies professor Matt Soar has been working on a project exploring what signs mean to people. He says when landmarks go, it can be unsettling.

“When something disappears,” he says, “it really reminds us how much of a feature of our lives that was, the experience of living in a particular community, or having certain patterns in terms of where we want to eat or buy our food or shop, and when those things change, it reminds us how ephemeral it all really is.”

It’s not clear yet what will take the Biftheque’s place.

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