Last week I heard a rumor that one of my favorite Montreal restaurants, La Paryse, was closing its doors for good. I was shocked and in disbelief; how could this place close? There’s always a line-up (the only line I don’t mind being in), the food is amazing, it couldn’t be true.
Never to take a rumor for face value, I decided to go right to the source and find out for myself if this was true. In an interview with the lady herself, Paryse Taillefer, who despite running a busy restaurant, sounds relaxed and well humored, she explains to DJNL what prompted her to make the decision, and what lies ahead for her and her famous burgers.
Day Jobs and the Nightlife: Say it isn’t so, tell me the rumors are not true.
Paryse Taillefer: Yes, they are. After 32 years, I have decided to close the restaurant at the end of October (on or around the weekend of the 27th) this year. .
DJNL: It will be sad day in Montreal. A lot of people love your restaurant, including myself.
PT: Thank you for that. I’ve had so many friends have come and tell me they are sad to see the restaurant close. I’ve been doing this for over half my life, it wasn’t an easy decision.
What prompted you to make the decision?
The structural condition of the building that houses the restaurant is worsening and I want to serve the public in the best possible manner, in a safe environment for everyone.
So this didn’t have anything to do with retirement or not wanting to continue in the business?
Not at all, I am self-employed and I have too much fun working. I love having my friends come in and enjoy the food we prepare. This had to do with the circumstances surrounding the building, nothing else. This is my life’s work and I’ve been doing this for a very long time. As long as you love what you do, it’s never really feels like work.
Does this mean that La Paryse could live on in another form?
Absolutely, we are looking for a new locale, a new place to set up shop. I want a pleasant environment for my patrons to enjoy a good meal. It’s also important that my employees have a nice place to come to work.
Speaking of your employees, one of the things I’ve noticed about La Paryse is that you have a very low turnover rate, that’s pretty impressive in the restaurant business.
We are like a family; I have employees that have been with me form the very first night we opened and others who’ve been with me between 25 and 30 years. They tend to stick around and that makes me happy.
Will they follow you to whatever comes next?
I hope so, we will see, but for now we are all taking a break. We will figure out what’s next in the New Year.
It will be a well deserved break, just don’t take too long!
Yes, very well deserved and don’t worry, we will be back.