Michael Salera, Owner of Restaurant Le Fagotin Will Cater to 100 Homeless on December 23rd

As I was scrolling through Facebook on Friday, I noticed a post by Michael Salera, the owner of Restaurant Le Fagotin:


Intrigued, I read on:

His post resounded in me, as we continue to see spikes in homelessness in Montreal. Without knowing Michael personally, I reached out him to find out more. Here’s what he has to say:

Petrona: Where is your restaurant located, so our readers can support you.

Michael: Restaurant Le Fagotin 5243 Chemin de Chambly in St Hubert. It is a quaint B.Y.O.B French fusion bistro with a private reception hall. My head chef’s name is Shaun Collins.

Petrona: How long have you been in business and operating?

Michael: The bistro was opened in 2007. I started working as a waiter and manager. I bought over the business without any partners in July 2010.

Petrona: When is this initiative happening, and why are you doing this?

Michael: I contribute to a whole bunch of causes and always like to help. I often cook meals like this and go hand them out with my daughter. This year we will be closing for the holidays. So given the free time, I figured I do it on a more grandiose scale through my bistro, publicize it and get people a few people to donate some warm goods at the same time. So far I’ve collected over 5k worth of brand new winter clothes to accompany the meals. The year 2020 has been rough on all of us but for some, it’s been a lot rougher and it breaks my heart to see the homelessness. I just want to help out, and this is my way of doing so.

Petrona: How has your business been impacted by the pandemic?

Michael: This pandemic has been horrible on my business. We closed on March 13th prior to it being mandatory for overall public safety. We closed until we could re-open on June 15th. We then removed half our capacity, closed our reception hall, and invested a couple thousand in plexiglass and safety equipment. We operated at our new “full” capacity for 2 months them were told to shut down again. We changed our business model,  adapted a take-out friendly/fine dining menu, adjusted prices, and got a delivery service through Doorfash. Despite all this, even after government subsidies, we continue to lose money every month. Our last 6 months prior to closing were the best 6 months since the bistro opened. Since then sales figures have dropped more than 80%. Now we are losing all our Christmas parties which we needed to balance the quiet months. Truth is our fine dining B.Y.O.B bistro and reception hall on the south shore can simply not survive on take out alone.  For this reason, we have decided to close for the holidays for the first time ever. The reality is the business will lose less money closed than open at this point. We will take some holiday time for ourselves for the first time in forever (quarantine version of course) and I will get to enjoy the arrival of my new daughter with my family instead.

Here’s how you can get involved: email Micheal Salera at restaurantlefagotin@gmail.com

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