Downtown restaurant owner throws in the towel, blames city bureaucracy

La Trattoria

A restaurateur is selling his flagship restaurant near Griffintown because he says he's fed up with the city bureaucracy and neverending roadwork.

Ted Dranias said he's throwing in the towel after five years of business at his Italian BYOB La Trattoria on Notre Dame near Guy.

Dranias said despite busy weekends and adequate business, headaches have been building up slowly: constant roadwork near his restaurant on Notre Dame near Guy over the past few years; then a few weeks ago, parking restrictions with no work going on and no advisory from the city; no liquor permit because of restrictions in the Ville Marie borough that are not imposed in the neighbouring South West borough.

Dranias said the straw that broke the camel's back was not getting his $1200 back for architect's plans after his terrasse permit was refused following months of waiting and then being told he applied to the wrong borough.

"The message is, they make it very hard," said Dranias in an interview with CJAD 800 News.

"Because I've been wrestled to the ground, my morale is very down, I've decided to sell the restaurant."

Dranias said if he had a good offer for his smaller neighbouring Greek restaurant,  he'd sell that too. Dranias said he'll be focussing his efforts now on his new restaurant in Westmount.

"I want to get out of that area (on Notre Dame) because the city of Montreal kind of forced me out," said Dranias.

"I'm a prime example of what's happened to every other businessman on St. Denis, on St. Laurent, on Parc Avenue."

Those streets were hampered by years of roadwork that some blame for the closing of several businesses.

The Ville Marie borough told CJAD 800 News that the terrasse permit process can be lengthy while they get all the details from the restaurant owner. They also said they do their utmost to inform people about roadwork and sometimes emergency work can happen. 

Dranias said he's just fed up with all the red tape.

"I'm a very optimistic guy. For me to invest half a million dollars to open a restaurant on Sherbrooke and Grosvenor in Westmount, tell me I don't have guts after being tortured and kicked around on Notre Dame St. But I want to get out of there, because the downtown core is in bad shape," said Dranias.

"Griffintown, too bad it's on fire but the city of Montreal doesn't know what the heck is going on."