When the Cavendish Mall transformed into Quartier Cavendish and city council approved the accompanying housing development, we envisioned the new street we named The Avenue in District 2 to become our own version of Monkland in NDG. Naturally, it would not be as elaborate, but a few cafés and restaurants would add a nice touch to our community.
Four years ago Yeh! Yogurt opened amid much fanfare on The Avenue and we were all very excited. The owners made a strong attempt to make it work, but a number if factors led to its closure. It was therefore very exciting for me to attend the pre-opening of Café de l’avenue in the same spot, brought to us by the Sidel family. Leading the way is CSL resident and business owner Marissa Sidel, working with her brother Noah, sister-in-law Joanna Miller and dad Jerry Sidel. Marissa is also the moderator of the Let’s Chat CSL Facebook page.This immediately becomes our neighbourhood’s first sit-down, storefront coffeehouse. It opens to the public on Wednesday, Aug. 16.
“I’ve lived here my whole life and I can’t remember a time in which people weren’t asking for a proper, sit-down, storefront café,” said Marissa. “We saw the opportunity to partner with the Quartier Cavendish and we jumped at it.”
Marissa, who has run her company, National Dispatch Services, out of CSL (and District 2) for nearly five years, enlisted her family and friends to get the café started. “Côte-Saint-Luc is all about family and we’re excited that our own family is able to further cement its place here with this café,” she said.
You can access Café de l’avenue from within Quartier Cavendish and via an outside door and terrace on The Avenue. The coffeehouse features free WIFI for customers, power stations throughout the seating area, and a real neighbourhood feel.
“We’ve partnered with great kosher suppliers like Elna Bistro and Mimimelon for all of our food and desserts, and our beans come from Union Coffee – legendary among Montreal coffee drinkers,” Marissa explained.
Opening hours are 6:30 am to 11 pm Monday to Friday, and 8:30 am to 11 pm on the weekend. “We’re open seven days a week so we can always serve the entire Côte-Saint-Luc community,” she said.
There was a wonderful atmosphere at the café pre-opening. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, most members of council and several candidates for election were on hand. So was Ron Basel from the BSR Group, whose new rental apartment building will open on September 1. His ground floor is zoned commercial. Ron told me that the Quartier Cavendish management team will decide what type of tenant takes that spot.
Marissa and her team put this all together in only seven weeks. She heaped praise in her sister-in-law Johanna Miller, a busy mother of three, for playing a crucial role. “This could not have happened without her’” Marissa said, upon presenting her with a bouquet of flowers.
While the new café no doubt will count on the local population to help it succeed, Marissa and her team are taking the very smart route of opening its doors to community groups and activities. There will be a Mommy and Me and painting activities on site. The café will ultimately sponsor one of the local school sports teams and in-turn invite that club and others to utilize the premises for pre and post-game bites. With the free WiFi and work stations it is hoped that this will become a “go to” place for students.
While all of the food is kosher, the café itself is not MK certified. Marissa notes that some items will be pre-sealed in order for everyone to have a comfort factor.
The café’s menu includes a wide variety of coffee, breakfast items (bagels, cream cheese, croissants, muffins, granola bars, cheese and greek yogurt), sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts.
Good luck to the entire team! Let’s all get out there and support it.