Another Montreal institution has fallen victim to the hard times brought on by the pandemic. After more than 53 years, downtown Montreal's iconic Bar B Barn has shut its doors. Since 1967, the restaurant was famous for its barbeque meals and quirky atmosphere.
The restaurant closed down in March, along with many others due to the COVID-19 crisis. New safety requirements would have made it too difficult to reopen.
"COVID-19 has forced ownership to face a harsh reality, the restaurant simply cannot continue to financially support itself," a statement on the restaurant's Facebook page reads.
"Our building is too narrow, and our dining rooms too small for us to be able to safely and properly serve customers, while still generating enough sales and revenue to keep the lights on."
The restaurant was a distinctive landmark on rue Guy. Its bright yellow and brown awning stood out among the rows of drab-looking buildings in the immediate area.
Some of you might be too young to remember the heydays of Bar-B Barn, but in the 80s and 90s, it was one of the most popular family restaurant destinations in Montreal. Just ask your parents!
There's no word yet on what the building will become. Owners are reportedly in talks to sell it.
Bar-B Barn's founder, Manny Barnoff, passed away in 2019 and worked hard to make his restaurant a Montreal institution.
The Facebook post explains that he started the restaurant "with only 3 booths, no kitchen, a dream, and a recipe for the perfectly cooked Rack of Ribs; the rest as [they] say, is history."
In a city where both new and old restaurants are in constant competition, Bar-B Barn was one of the few that stuck to its original formula and succeeded for over five decades.
While many bemoaned the loss of yet another iconic Montreal restaurant on social media, the Bar B Barn faithful will now make the trek to the West Island to get a taste of their favourite meal.
The closure of downtown's Bar-B Barn brought tons of reactions from Montrealers from all walks of life.
"While this decision did not come easy, a lot of time, thought and consideration went into this before making this decision," the Facebook post states.
"We feel that the public has been robbed of it’s opportunity to say goodbye with one last meal, and for those of you who feel this way, we are sorry, we will make this right."
"Endings are never easy, but we feel special and consider it a true honour to have served Montreal and it’s visitors for the last 50+ years."