moishes closing

Canada's most famous steakhouse is closing because of COVID-19

Canada's most beloved steakhouse is saying good-bye...for now. 

On Wednesday, Lenny Lighter, owner of Montreal's iconic Moishes, announced that the restaurant will not be re-opening after closing in March thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While its St-Laurent Boulevard location has withstood the Second World War, two independence referenda, and the 2008 recession, it was  the coronavirus that forced the family business to shut down after 83 years. Lighter's father, Moishe, opened the restaurant back in 1938. 

However,  Lighter is already thinking about his next steps. The pandemic has slowed the process down, but you'll eventually be able to dine at a new and improved steakhouse. The location is yet to be determined.

"Due to COVID and the large investment necessary, we decided to put everything on hold," he told Freshdaily.

"Our lease expires at our current location in December and we feel that it doesn't make sense to go back to business in that location for just a couple of months so we are taking a hiatus."

Construction was supposed to begin on Aug. 1 in Victoria Square however Lighter has decided not to hold on to that spot.

Lighter went on to assure customers that the restaurant will not be disappearing and that plans with the new location will forge ahead, just not at the moment. 

"We will take this time to understand the situation in terms of COVID, how long will it take, what will be the impact on business. At some point, hopefully in the new future, we plan to open Moishes at a location that is yet to be determined," Lighter said.

For now, Moishes regulars can enjoy the taste of their favourite restaurant in their pre-packaged foods including pickles, coleslaw and steaks in IGA grocery stores. 

"We've made the decision to not reopen yet to try to understand how the future will unfold. We will be back, we just don't know where and when at this point."

Back in 2018, the fan-favourite was purchased by Sportscene, the company that operates the Cage Aux Sports chain. 

It is highly regarded not just in Montreal and Canada but around the world as it made Forbes' Top 10 list of sirloin joints. It has drawn locals as well as celebrities like Penelope Cruz, Celine Dion, Robert De Niro and more.

Lead photo by


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Food & Drink

How the Deep'n Delicious cake became a cult favourite in Canada

How Habitant pea soup became a grocery store staple in Canada

The secret to great poutine according to the founder of Smoke's Poutinerie

The history of Canadian butter tarts and how they've changed since the first recipe

The cult of Kraft Dinner in Canada and the weird recipes people make

This is how bagged milk came to Canada and why it might be here forever

Pillsbury just launched an edible cookie dough in Canada

Spade and Sparrows is the hottest new wine in Canada thanks to a reality TV star