Old Moe’s Diner sign finds home at Concordia University’s Loyola Campus
A piece of Montreal culinary history has found a new home, and at the same time has been serendipitously reunited with the person who treasures it most.
The old Moe’s Diner sign now hangs in a hallway of Concordia University’s CJ building.
Moe’s Diner was a Montreal institution. At the corner of Lambert-Closse and De Maisonneuve in the shadow of the Old Forum, it held a special place in the hearts of many until it closed in 2015.
But perhaps nobody loved Moe’s more than Katelyn Thomas. Her parents owned the place from 1978 until it closed. Thomas says she basically grew up there.
“I spent a lot of my time just hanging out with the staff,” she told Global News. “They became a family to me.”
When Moe’s closed three years ago, she was devastated.
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Nowadays, the space is occupied by the Shaughnessy Cafe. All traces of Moe’s, though — both inside and out — are gone.
“I went into the new place once and I felt like I was being stabbed in the heart,” Thomas recalled.
Imagine her surprise last fall, then, walking down a hall in the Concordia building where she studies, and seeing one of big exterior signs from the diner she cherished hanging on the wall.
“I looked up, stopped for a second and was like ‘I know this! Oh my god, it used to hang outside Moe’s!’ I couldn’t move for at least 15 seconds,” she recounted.
Concordia professor Matt Soar collects iconic Montreal signs, and hangs them all over the CJ building as part of a conservation project. He snapped up the Moe’s sign last year.
“Every sign in the collection works as a lightning rod for memories of the city,” Soar explained.
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“It’s a shame a lot of these Montreal institutions are disappearing, but its nice to keep the memory alive,” said Douglas Hollingworth, a technical supervisor with the Concordia Communications Department who works near the sign. Hollingworth recounted his own memories of stumbling into Moe’s after a night on the town.
“It’s so meaningful to me that it’s here,” said Thomas.
A journalism student, Thomas recently penned an article in student newspaper The Concordian about the sign and how much it means to her.
“It’s hard to put into words how it feels, but if it could’ve ended up anywhere, I would want to be here,” she said of the sign.
Since her article was published, people have been sharing their stories about how meaningful Moe’s was to them.
“It’s just cool to know that it touched so many people in so many different ways,” Thomas told Global News.
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