Avenue Maguire: Korean restaurant Bab Sang closes its doors a year and a half after controversy over English service

Avenue Maguire: Korean restaurant Bab Sang closes its doors a year and a half after controversy over English service
Avenue Maguire: Korean restaurant Bab Sang closes its doors a year and a half after controversy over English service

It’s already the end for the Bab Sang restaurant on Avenue Maguire, in Sillery. Plunged into heated controversy a year and a half ago due to the difficulty of obtaining service in French, the Quebec business recently closed its doors permanently, noted Le Journal.

“Commercial premises for rent”, we can read on a gigantic poster plastered on the window of the restaurant which specialized in traditional Korean cuisine. “Ideal for catering or food retail, kitchen equipment included,” it is specified.

The brand’s Google page also bears the mention “permanently closed” even though the establishment cannot be reached by telephone.

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photo Marianne White

Bab Sang is this restaurant that made headlines for two weeks in October 2022 after it was revealed that it was impossible at certain times of the week to be served there in French.

Difficult to recruit

The recently opened business defended itself by pointing out the difficulty of recruiting workers. “Believe me, it’s very difficult to recruit,” confided the restaurateur of Korean origin in an interview with Le Journal.

Preferring not to testify openly and visibly overwhelmed by the events, he announced the closure of his dining room, saying he was the victim of intimidation.

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Photo Marianne White

The controversy soon took on a political dimension. Mayor Bruno Marchand was concerned about the revelations about the absence of service in French, saying that “it’s not possible for it to come to Quebec.”

Accused by his opponents of having lacked sensitivity towards a local trader “who needs help”, he then recognized that he should have shown more “kindness”.

Disappointment

However, the affair had a happy conclusion in the face of a real wave of solidarity from the community. Citizens and merchants had offered their help to work voluntarily in French and help translate the menus into the language of Molière.

Two weeks after the controversy broke out, the reopening of the dining room was a success.

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Archive photo Stevens LeBlanc

There were many customers when the Bab Sang restaurant reopened on October 26, 2022.

A representative of SDC Maguire confirmed the closure to us.

On the commercial artery, the news caused some disappointment.

“Honestly, I think it’s a bit of a shame that they closed. It’s certain that they had difficulty as a restaurant in starter. They arrived in a difficult period and they had difficulty having French-speaking employees,” reacted the employee of a nearby business.

“I thought their food was really good. I’m a little sad,” said the lady, emphasizing that Korean cuisine is poorly represented in the sector.

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