Philip Chiang

PF Chang's founder Philip Chiang visited Montreal three years ago. He is seen here with Groupe Sportscene CEO Jean Bedard and singer Ginette Reno.

Today we bring you some breaking news items from the local culinary scene.

Seven years after its arrival in Montreal, rumours have it that the P.F. Chang’s on Decarie Blvd./Rue de Jockeys will close by the end of September. Originally owned and operated in Montreal, Laval and Toronto by a group headed by Michael Aronovici, it was sold to Groupe Sportscene in August 2015. The latter owns La Cage Brasserie Sportive (Cage Aux Sports) and Moishes.

“We don’t comment on our business strategy,” was all Vice-President of Marketing and Communications Marc Pelletier would tell me.

While the Decarie location will reportedly shut down and be replaced by a Cage outlet by next spring, I am told that the Carrefour Laval spot will remain open under the umbrella of a company that holds the rights to open and operate P.F. Chang’s in Western Canada. The Toronto P.F. Chang’s was closed the moment Groupe Sportscene completed its transaction.

PIZZA PITA SET FOR MOVE: The owners of the iconic Pizza Pita are preparing to shift operations within the next four months from their present-day Decarie Boulevard location to the former Pizza Hut spot at Decarie Square. I sat down with owners Chaim and Tzvi Shpigelman, who explained that this is a temporary measure that should not last more than two years. This fall construction will begin on a new rental apartment building to be call Romema on the site where Pizza Pita now stands. Once complete, the popular restaurant and catering outfit will return on the ground floor of the new building. The temporary site at Decarie Square will not serve as a sit-down restaurant. It will be reserved for pickup, delivery and catering only. Please see my blog for more details.

NAKIS ADDS THURSDAY’S: The iconic Thursday’s on Crescent Street, a 24,000 square foot bistro, bar and club, is now owned by a group headed by noted Montreal restaurateur Chris-Ann Nakis. Working with her dad Paul, daughter Anastasia and partners, Nakis has the magic touch. Her teams operate Sir Winston Churchill Pub next to Thursday’s, Baton Rouge at Complexe Desjardins and Schwartz’s Deli (the latter with Celine Dion aboard). She is also a leader in the local Greek Community and a longtime president and supporter of Shield of Athena Family Services. Thursday’s first opened in 1973 and was the brainchild of Bernard Ragueneau and Sonny Lindy.

LOVE, SET, SUSHI: Last week tennis superstar Rafael Nadal took a break from competing in the Rogers Cup at Jarry Park’s IGA Stadium, along with many of the other participants in the tournament, to enjoy some sushi at Shô-Dan on Metcalfe Avenue downtown. Owner and executive chef Romeo has been a magnet for two decades attracting celebrities to his venue.

ARAHOVA UPDATE: George Calogrias tells me that the newest Arahova Souvlaki location will open on Decarie in the old Bill Wong spot in early September with an entirely new look for the 50 year old brand.

COHEN CHATTER: Curator and art critic Prof. Norman Cornett will presents the exhibit, I Pastelli, by Sonia Roseval through Aug. 20 at Georges Laoun Opticien in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Building (1396 Sherbrooke West). There is no admission charge. Info: …. Côte Saint-Luc youngsters Adam Miller and brothers Josh and Noah Liebman and Hampsteader Ariel Nathan, recently returned from the JCC Maccabi Games in Atlanta. Despite the fact their “J” team was a patched together group, with some Americans, they made it to the final vs. Baltimore and overcame a 24 point deficit to win 53-49.

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