The recent news of the sudden closure of Thursday’s bistro and bar on Crescent Street isn’t worrying other merchants on one of Montreal’s best-known party streets.
“The regulars are gone, but we have the tourists,” said Ziggy Eichenbaum, owner of Ziggy’s Pub on Crescent.
Eichenbaum, who has run Ziggy’s for almost 24 years, said the street can’t rely on Montrealers to pay the bills anymore.
He told Global News on Monday that the bars and restaurants on the street still do extremely well during Montreal’s grand prix, the jazzfest and on hockey nights.
“New Year’s was fantastic,” he added.
Thursday’s, a decades-old Montreal staple, announced suddenly to its staff that it was closing down on New Year’s Day, taking the staff — almost 100 employees — completely by surprise. The future of the business remains unclear.
The building is owned by the Ragueneau family, who opened up the restaurant and bar decades ago.
Eichenbaum has heard the rumours of the owners looking to sell the building to condo developers, but he doesn’t believe it. He told Global News he believes the business will pick back up, just under new ownership.
Patrick Gravel, a doorman at neighbouring Jet Club for 15 years, said that young out-of-towners who come to Montreal for the young legal age have become the street’s main demographic.
Lewis Szopko, former manager of Thursday’s, said the closing is tough on everybody.
“Sometimes you see it coming, sometimes you don’t,” said Szopko, speaking of the sudden shut down. “It’s a business decision; life goes on.”
Szopko agreed that the downtown street isn’t what it used to be, but said that businesses are simply changing to tailor to the younger crowd.