Yanky’s Pizza hopes to gain a following in Côte Saint-Luc

I have lived most of my life in Côte Saint-Luc and for the very first time we now have a true New York style pizza parlor.


Yanky’s opened quietly in March, the brainchild of  local resident Jacob Grosz .He and his wife Yitty, a native New Yorker, spent a lot of time planning for this big investment.  “Yanky” is Jacob’s Hebrew name. He had opened up a counter top pizza place under the same name at the  Fooderie Market in Outremont in 2020. Last January he purchased Le Falafel Plus on Decarie. Then came Côte Saint-Luc and a cozy spot in the strip mall at the corner of Mackle and Westminster which already houses Nosherz, a dry cleaner and a  religious studies organization.


As the chair of Local Commerce for the city, it was my pleasure to go meet with Jacob and Yitty. I was accompanied by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who biked over. This naturally fully kosher establishment offers delicious thin crust pizza, fries, cheese latkes, poutine, calzones, salads, garlic rolls,  soft drinks and slush. Very soon, a breakfast service will be introduced.


Yanky’s is still in its infancy stage, so Jacob has yet to launch a website or any social media channels.  There are four booths that can seat four people each, four stools at the counter and some tables outdoors. Pickup is available, with delivery coming soon. However, if you have a large enough order and you are within the city limits, a staffer will bring it to your home.

Mayor Brownstein and Jacob.

“As a Yeshiva student I learned how to cook and I really like it,” said Jacob.

“At home he is the best cook for me and our two boys,” Gitty chipped in.  



Jacob said he first started eyeing this location, which is part of the old Quality Fruit spot, more than a year ago. It required a significant financial investment, notably the installation of a pizza oven. “We truly built this place from scratch,” he said proudly. “Now we want to get the word out to the community to please come support us. We can make pizzas for your parties. Call in an order when you are coming back from work. We are here to serve.”

You can call 438-818-PIZA (7492), email [email protected].  It is located at 5816 Westminster.





McHappy Day boosts our new fund for kids and gives me an experience to be a McDonald's chef

A year and  a half ago at the Côte Saint-Luc Winter Carnival, Pierre Brunet approached me about McHappy Day.

Pierre, of course, is the franchisee of the McDonald’s restaurants on Côte Saint-Luc Road and at Quartier Cavendish (soon to close). He also runs more than a dozen other locations in the city.

Councillors David Tordjman (with baby), Oren Sebag, Recreation chief Cornelia Ziga and Trish McKenzie.

Every year, McDonald’s Canada franchisees and crew across the country celebrate McHappy Day , an annual day of community giving in support of Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children’s charities. On Wednesday May 2, for every Big Mac®, Happy Meal® or hot McCafé® beverage purchased, $1 will be donated to RMHC® and children’s charities across Canada

Pierre always adds a local twist for his restaurants and he wanted my advice for any program that might benefit children. I immediately scheduled a meeting with Harold Cammy from our Parks and Recreation Department and we began to brainstorm. What we came up with was the Pierre Brunet Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund. Monies raised would be used for assistance to local families who may be experiencing financial difficulties in registering their children in our programs, for families with special needs children requiring additional support at our programs and for parks equipment intended for children with disabilities.  From last year’s McHappy Day and other funds raised from donors and most notably our CSL Men’s Club, $8,549 has already been raised.

That is me and Tanya. The hair net is mandatory. Just ask Gilles Duceppe.

I took part in this year’s McHappy Day. We await totals, but we will clearly surpass  the $10,000 mark. Some bursaries have already been handed out and we will have more to announce at our CSL Golf Classic July 5.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of council and many of our dedicated staff were at McDonald’s to support the cause. Parks and Recreation Director Cornelia Ziga and her team were selling McDonald’s sock for $5, with proceeds going to the Fund.

As for me, I went into the kitchen and helped prepare orders with City Manager Tanya Abramovitch. Wow, Tanya was a real pro while I found the entire process very challenging. I gained a whole new appreciation for what these employees do and how fast they must work behind the scenes. Tanya then confided in me that she had worked at McDonald’s in her late teens. Thanks to John and some of the other staffers who guided us. We saw the orders on the big screen. Buns had to be toasted, the different toppings applied and then the main item - be it a burger, chicken or filet of fish-  put on. This is hard work and after an hour I was completely beat. Tanya did a three hour shift and the energetic mom of two year old twins probably could have kept on going if she did not have a meeting to attend.

 Thanks to everyone who made this day a success. We will have printed material regarding the scholarship fund available online soon.

McDonald's at Quartier Cavendish to close on May 31

The McDonald’s Restaurant at the Quartier Cavendish food court will shut down operations on May 31, franchisee Pierre Brunet has confirmed with me.

Last week I began receiving messages from constituents and readers concerning a “rumour” of such a closing. Brunet, who now owns 19 franchises in Montreal,  told me that after 20 years at Cavendish he had a decision to make when it came time to renew his lease. The fact that his locale at the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre, opened four and a half years ago, is thriving helped him make  the call. All of the Cavendish staff will move to the CSL Road location.

“We will remain open until May 31 and it will be business as usual,” Brunet promises. “I wish to thank the administration at Quartier Cavendish and all of our loyal customers. This was a business decision  and keeping that franchise open would not have been profitable.”

Pierre Brunet

Brunet’s first McDonald’s franchise was on Walkley and Côte St. Luc Road. That closed more than 20 years ago at a time ironically when the Cavendish location had just opened and was doing well.  “It is very important for me to retain my connection to the Côte Saint-Luc community and I am doing that with our newest location,” he said.

Last year, as a CSL city councillor, I was honoured to work with Pierre to establish the first ever Pierre Brunet McDonald’s  Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund to assist families who cannot afford to register their child in a program and taking into account requests from children with special needs. This is connected to McHappy Day, which this year falls on May 2. Pierre has also been a regular supporter of our CSL Men’s Club, our Winter Carnival and the annual CSL Golf Classic.

We will miss the Cavendish location, but remain grateful that Pierre will remain part of the CSL landscape.

Pik Nik shuts down at the CSL Shopping Centre

Ever since I can remember there has been a Pik Nik snack bar at the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre. Located by the IGA, Junior Booty, the SAQ and the barber shop, it's a snack bar surrounded by stools and some tables on the side. Hot dogs have traditionally been the most popular items there. They also make sandwiches, some other snacks and serve breakfast.

A few days ago the owner, Khang, was forced to shut down operations. "The owners of this centre want too much in rent," he told me. "I cannot afford to stay, so I closed."

As Khang connected his things, regulars came the counter and stared ahead in shock. "What do you mean you are closed?" one heartbroken lady remarked.

The sadly abandoned Pik Nik.

Will the Centre get someone else to run the operation and bring Pik Nik back to life? Until then the only places left to eat are the Subways,  Muffins Plus, a sushi stop and Dominos Pizza. The IGA food counter makes some pretty good prepared meals and if you ever go there around lunchtime they drum up some good business. Who remembers the days when the Ben Ash Deli enjoyed a popular following?

As for Khang, who ran the Pik Nik with his wife, I hope he is able to bounce back somewhere else.

Proud to have been part of McHappy Day

It was a pleasure for me once again to participate in the annual McHappy Day festivities at our local McDonald's at the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre.

Approximately 80 percent  of McDonald's restaurants in Canada are independently owned and operated by a local McDonald's franchisee. In the case of the  Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre locale, the Quartier Cavendish and at least another dozen spots, Pierre Brunet is the man at the helm. 

With Allan J. Levine, Jacques Châles and Officer Pierre Blais.

McHappy Day is a national fundraiser. It’s when McDonald's restaurants across Canada and their communities, employees, customers and special guests raise money together to help children in need across Canada. Members of city council, staff and local police officers pitched in, working behind the counter and assisting with fundraising items.

Suzanne Beaudry, Julie Bessette and Jean O'Malley.


I was pleased to chat with Jacques Châles, manager of customer relations. Officer Pierre Blais, whom only a few days earlier I saw trying to catch motorists running through stop signs, was soliciting donations. Commander Jean O'Malley, who is in fantastic physical condition, said he was having a "rare" Big Mac to support the cause along with Lieutenant Julie Bessette and ever so valuable secretary Suzanne Beaudry. Councillor Allan J. Levine was busy engaging in banter with a customer who had just turned 100 years old. Our Director of Public Safety Jordy Reichson had a hairnet on and was helping on the production line.

Jordy Reichson

We are only too happy to pitch in, especially if Pierre Brunet is involved. Stay tuned to an exciting announcement where Pierre is concerned. Profits from McHappy Day support Manoire Ronald McDonald and charities like the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre.  We, of course, have been connected to to Le Manoire for many years. This is a place (located in Côte des Neiges) where families from out of town with ill children can stay while their little ones are hospitalized.

Several of our staff from Parks and Recreation spent part of the day at the McDonald's franchise on Côte des Neiges Road.




The P.F. Chang's experience enhanced by excellent customer service

When P.F. Chang’s opened in Canada, initially in Toronto and then three years ago near Decarie next to the former Blue Bonnets Raceway and soon after at Carrefour Laval, there was a significant Côte Saint-Luc connection via Michael Aronovici who grew up in our neighbourhood and attended Wagar High School.  As president of Interaction Restaurants group, he was the driving force behind bringing this famous brand to our country.

I have been a P.F. Chang`s fan for a long time. Whenever our family travelled to the United States where a franchise existed, we`d make sure to dine there. We have been regulars in Montreal and thank Michael for bringing this treasure to our city. Last summer ownership changed hands when Groupe Sportscene purchased the two Montreal locations.

Sportscene, the operators of the Cage Aux Sports (now known as La Cage, Brasserie Sportive,) has already utilized its golden marketing touch combined with the fortunate timing of some well received menu changes to bring back the crowds. Our most recent dining experience at the Rue des Jockeys Decarie Boulevard locale was enhanced by our server, 22 year old Côte Saint-Luc resident Natalie Solomon.

Emile Haykal and Natalie Solomon.

Natalie  started working at P.F. Chang's in May of 2013, just in time for its opening. “I love working here,” she says. “The restaurant industry is great to get into as a student, as the hours are flexible and the job itself is fun! Working at P.F. Chang's is fantastic. We've got a great team with similar goals and I truly feel like I am part of a family at the restaurant. I'm also constantly learning new things about the culinary arts and the service industry.”

The famous lettuce chicken wraps.

Natalie is presently in her third year at the John Molson School of Business. She attended JPPS, Bialik and Dawson College previously. After she graduates next fall she hopes to work in the fields of marketing and advertising. Besides her role as a server, she gained some great hands on experience as the resident social media guru for P.F. Chang’s. “I started working on the P.F. Chang's Quebec Facebook and Instagram pages in November for the duration of a three month contract,” she says. “We saw some great results online, gaining over 200 new followers on Instagram and 600 new likes on Facebook. Through Facebook, we were also able to reach over 3,000 users weekly.”

Next week Natalie will get to meet Philip Chiang, the founder of P.F. Chang’s (he dropped the letter “i” upon launching the restaurant) when he visits Montreal for the first time in three years. Here is the interview I did with him at that time.

Going to P.F. Chang’s for dinner is more than a meal – it is an experience. The Decarie facility is beautifully designed, with two floors and tall ceilings. There is a seasonal terrace. This is a restaurant where they do not rush you. Customers can enjoy every morsel of food. As for ordering, it is a perfect place to share dishes, which enables you to budget accordingly. We went for dinner with another couple and spent three and a half hours there. This is also a great choice for family gatherings and special occasions.  You can arrange for takeout as well.

PF LObsterroll
The amazing lobster avocado sushi.

When Groupe Sportscene CEO Jean Bedard took over P.F. Chang’s, the first thing he did was drop “China Bistro” from the name and refer to the place as P.F. Chang’s. Officials travelled to the restaurant chain’s US headquarters in Arizona in order to be schooled on how to implement the new menu. While the staple favorites remain, such as chicken lettuce wraps, Mongolian beef, crispy honey chicken and shrimp, shrimp lo mein, crab wonton and more, the newest draw are the sushi rolls. We particularly love the lobster and dynamite scallop sushi rolls. And there is no better way to cap the night off by sharing the Great Wall of Chocolate cake at the table or the chocolate raspberry dessert wontons.

Both operating partners in Montreal, Emile Haykal at Decarie and Elie Sucar in Laval, were kept on by Groupe Sportscene  - a good move considering their familiarity with the brand.  Haykal and Sucar know their business well when it comes to customer service.

You can log on to to see the menu.  For reservations call  Decarie at 514-731-2020 at Decarie and Laval at (450) 687-8000.  


Can we save the Famous Delly Boys Restaurant from closure?

A Côte Saint-Luc institution may be forced to close its doors for good by the end of October and I am wondering if there is anything we can do about it?

According to my sources, the landlord will not renew the lease of the Famous Delly Boys Restaurant on Westminster Avenue. There is even a potential new owner on the horizon, prepared to totally revamp the  place. His attempts to meet with the landlord have thus far been rejected.

The Delly Boys was originally established in 1962 by brothers Guido (Chico) and Sonny Broccoli. It has changed hands several times over the past decade, but continues to be incredibly popular. I have virtually grown up in the place and thought of Côte Saint-Luc`s only full-scale restaurant closing its doors reluctantly after being in business for 53 years breaks my heart.

People still come from across the island to enjoy their extensive menu, which contains such items as smoked meat and other deli delights, club rolls, their famous party sandwiches, pizza, pizza burgers, chicken, veal, fish, steak, ribs, pasta, salads and desserts. Whether dining in, taking out or ordering a catered meal, you will never be disappointed. I was unable to reach the landlord, Olymbec, today but I will continue to pursue them.

Delly boys
Delly Boys special: Smoked meat, fries and a pickle.

I do indeed hope they have a change in heart.  As for the potential new owner, I did ask him if there are other options to establish a CSL Deli. I always felt that the Cavendish Mall (now called Quartier Cavendish) would have been a better spot for them. In fact it almost happened after Pumperniks closed and its replacement Chilis turned out to be a bust. Some of the Mall owners had discussed a Delly Boys move, but the majority of the group opted in favor of a new concept called Sternz Rhapsody. It did not work, nor did its successor Jakes. 

As the city councillor responsible for the Quartier Cavendish, I would love to play a role in bringing a full-scale restaurant there.  But for the good of our community, I still favor the status quo where Delly Boys is right now.




McHappy Day in CSL and other Pierre Brunet locales supports MAB-Mackay

Wednesday May 6 is McHappy Day at McDonald's Restaurants across Canada, bringing the community together to raise money for children in need.

Once again this year, local Montreal franchise owner Pierre Brunet has selected the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre as the focus for his McEfforts. For anyone who goes to one of Pierre's 11 McDonald's locations, you will have the opportunity to support the pediatric programs at MAB-Mackay. What a fine organization Pierre has chosen to partner with. Wearing my hat for the English Montreal School Board, we operate the Mackay Centre School  and Philip E. Layton School for the Visually Impaired on Decarie.

I stopped by the beautiful Côte Saint-Luc Road facility where I chatted with supervisor Jeffrey Ferreira, manager John Raftopoulos and Jenny Jacob and Isabelle Hartnell from MAB-Mackay. One dollar  from sales of each Big Mac, Happy meals and McCafé goes to the charity. They are also selling mugs, balloons, caps and little boots that go up on the wall with your name on it. A raffle is taking place as well for a brand new adult bicycle.

Jenny Jacob, John Raftopoulos, myself, Isabelle Hartnell and Jeffrey Ferreira.

Pierre Brunet and his team always go the extra mile to lend a helping hand in the community, as witnessed by the incredible work done to support Manoir Ronald McDonald near the Ste. Justine Hospital. This serves as a temporary residence for families from outside the Montreal area who bring their children here for medical treatment.

Everyone I saw was being very generous.

Parks and Recreation District supervisor Shauna Lemieux on left with Valerie Gibson and Lauren Fairlie.


Here is a list of Pierre Brunet's locations:

- St-Jacques: 7270, rue St-Jacques O.
- Marché Central: 1021 F Rue du Marché Central
- Côte-des-Neiges : 6025, ch. de la Côte-des-Neiges
-Côte-des-Neiges II : 5252, ch. de la Côte-des-Neiges
- Cavendish Mall: 5800 Boulevard Cavendish
- Beaumont: 1300, av. Beaumont
- Gare Centrale: 895 rue de la Gauchetière O.
- Queen Mary: 5155, ch. Queen Mary
- Place Ville Marie: 1 Place Ville Marie
- Westmount: 5011, rue Sherbrooke O.
- Côte St-Luc: 7003, ch. de la Côte St-Luc

Alvin Fishman from Parks and Recreation at the McDonald's Côte des Neiges locale.

We encourage everyone to help make a difference in the lives of the more than 2,000 children with vision, hearing, motor and communication impairments who depend on the MAB-Mackay each year.

For more information about the MAB-Mackay Foundation, call (514) 488-0043 or  log on to

Côte St. Luc Kosher moving storefronts, but business as usual leading up to Passover

For decades,  the team at Côte St. Luc Kosher  has been proud to provide customers with the finest in  kosher cuisine, fully prepared meals and the best selection of kosher meats anywhere. "Our customers are loyal to us and we appreciate this immensely," says Avi Brook, who runs the operation with his mother-in-law Marianna Roth.

On Thursday, May 1,  Côte St. Luc Kosher will be moving to a new storefront which better suits their needs in the same strip shopping centre at 5521 Westminster Avenue. Their phone numbers of 514-481-4094 and 514-747-6531 will remain the same. The same goes for their reliable staff members: Billy, Claudia, Joseph, Wing Wah and their supporting cast.


The team at CSL Kosher will be switching storefronts in May.

Due to this imminent move, they will not be able to provide any prepared Passover meals for this season as they intend to  close for 17 days beginning April 14. You will, however, be able to order regular kosher cuisine up until April 11 and fresh meat for Passover up until April 13. "It is business as usual until then," says Brook. "We will only be closed during the actual holiday period."

Brook is the butcher and Roth the cook. Together with their staff they prepare some of the best food in the city. This includes prepared meals, from Chinese cuisine to spectacular chicken schnitzel, chicken burgers and by special request - salmon patties. You can see the menu here.





New McDonald's franchise opens at CSL Shopping Centre

Since  I was a young child, I have eaten at McDonald's more times than I can remember. But not until October 15 had I experienced a behind the scenes tour of one of the restaurants.

Franchisee Pierre Brunet with Steven Erdelyim Mayor  Housefather, myself, Allan J. Levine and Ruth Kovac.

The occasion was a small ceremony for the brand new McDonald's which just opened at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre. It is a beautiful facility, spread over two floors with a drive through and open 24 hours a day. The place is also in the best hands possible with franchisee Pierre Brunet, certainly no stranger to our community. 'Mr. Brunet owned the McDonald's on Côte Saint-Luc Road and Walkley (actually considered NDG), which closed about 18 years ago. Among his current 16 franchises are the Quartier Cavendish food court, St. Jacques Street West, Queen Mary Road,  Côte des Neiges  and Linton, Beaumont in TMR, Marché Central, three  in LaSalle and one Verdun.


Mayor Anthony Housefather was on hand to congratulate Mr. Brunet alongside  five members of council: myself, Steven Erdelyi, Ruth Kovac, Dida Berku and Allan J. Levine. Manager Don Martin brought us right behind the counter and into the kitchen. Councillors Levine and Berku could not resist the temptation of the smell of french fries. Councillor Levine (left) scooped up a medium order himself while (below) Councillor Berku requested a small one. We were joined  by some of the CSL residents whose homes are right next to the facility.

Dida Fries

I was also happy to see Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Brody on hand. The two longtime residents of Sir Walter Scott Avenue in District 2 have been close friends with Mr. Brunet for years.

Mr. Brunet said that without any bells and whistles, he opened the doors to the new franchise and business is already at the level he expected. When inside check out the neat digital me menus.

"I am very happy to be back in this neighbourhood," said Mr. Brunet.

With the neighbours.

With the Brodys.

Prepping the food in the kitchen.