Six months after a fire shut down business, the iconic Côte St. Luc Bar-B-Q on Côte St. Luc has officially opened with a spanking new look. Owners Johnny Castellano and Sean Finlay were all smiles when I dropped by for a special sneak preview.
Located on Côte St. Road, just below Decarie, the West End institution celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2013. While some renovations were indeed in the plans, the fire that broke out in their building last May and the subsequent water damage required a total makeover. Only the ovens could be saved.
Popular for its dining room, takeout and reliable home delivery, the restaurant handles more than 1,000 individual orders a day and uses at least 1,300 chickens a week. There are usually seven drivers on the road during opening hours.
Côte St. Luc Bar-B-Q, of course, is noted for its mouth-watering chicken dinners, trademark homemade French fries, sauce and a toasted roll. The chicken is basted in its own juice and cooked on hardwood charcoal. The fries are cut on the premises from real red Manitoba potatoes, blanched and tossed into the fryer for a deliciously crispy taste. Other options on the menu include chicken soup, chicken fillets, zucchini sticks, taco sticks, garden burgers, chicken wings, chicken salad, a hot chicken sandwich, a crispy chicken wrap, coleslaw, baked potato, grilled vegetables and onion rings.
House red and white wine and beer can also be purchased. Poutine, says Johnny, remains a house favourite, as does the club sandwich and the chicken soup. A wide array of delicious pies are still part of the lineup as well.
So what is new at Côte St. Luc Bar-B-Q 2.0? There are new floors, booths, a serving station with draft beer and for the first, three 50 inch flat screen TVs in the dining room and another at takeout. Just above where you can usually finding manager Lindsay Deliva taking delivery orders is a fancy electronic screen featuring the menu. Oh yes, you can now order Dr. Pepper from the soft drink menu.
The seating capacity has increased from 70 to 78. Just prior to opening to the public, the restaurant invited friends and family to preview the place and in order to make the whole experience easier they served the food buffet style. Imagine all you can eat chicken, fries, sauce, coleslaw and Mac and cheese bites. Looking at the setup Johnny and Sean realized that the time had come to introduce another first: Côte St. Luc Bar-B-Q now accepts reservations. If a group wants to come here and have a buffet, we can do something for them,” he said.
Côte St. Luc Bar-B-Q first opened as a takeout and delivery spot. Ironically it was a fire in 1983 in the kitchen which prompted the owners to buy the place next door and rebuild the present premises.
You can call 514-488-4011 or log on to www.cotestlucbbq.com.