It took two years of work, closely supervised by the government and their municipality, for a group of entrepreneurs from Terrebonne to complete their restaurant project in a heritage building dating from the beginning of the 19th century.
Getting the plans and the choice of materials approved, both by heritage experts from the Ministry of Culture and by members of the Town of Terrebonne’s planning committee, required nearly 400 hours of development before Construction Vilan could. give the first shovel to its restaurant project Le Xavier, inaugurated on September 2.
The old white house, built around 1805 (according to the Société d’histoire de la region de Terrebonne) by the miller Noël Roussil in Vieux-Terrebonne, is known to have housed a restaurant for 30 years, Le Folichon. The new owners wanted to give the place a second life, preserving several heritage aspects while infusing it with a touch of modernism.
“We were keen to showcase the heritage of the past, while creating the heritage of tomorrow. We had to make sure that the building would last another 100 years, ”explains Mathieu Jean-Marie, president of Construction Vilan and co-owner of Xavier.
Having completed more than thirty projects in Old Terrebonne, including seven renovations of heritage houses, the company had all the expertise necessary for its rehabilitation by acquiring the building in 2019. Cited by the City of Terrebonne for its interest heritage, the building had to be renovated in accordance with a whole series of requirements from the Ministry of Culture and the municipality.
“Each project is different, but in this case, it was about restoring the historic part of the building by keeping everything that was in place and putting it back as it was originally,” says Mathieu Jean-Marie. Finding the cedar shingles to redo the roof or the materials to restore the huge chimney that goes up to the ceiling wasn’t too difficult, he says.
The contractors added an ultramodern style extension to the building housing a multifunctional art gallery. “Each street in Vieux-Terrebonne has its own identity. We are not trying to copy, but to be inspired by it, even by doing something modern, ”says Jean-Marie.
The result is impressive. The restaurant’s dining room surrounds a central bar, topped by a cathedral roof revealing the original wood ceiling. “We created an eccentric decor that winks at the character of Saint Francis Xavier, missionary adventurer, who gives his name to the street [où se trouve le restaurant]», Says Maxime Laforest, co-owner.
The partners pushed the reflection even in the design of the menu, explains the chef – and also co-owner – Jean-Philippe Darveau. “Unpretentious market cuisine like our grandmothers used to do, with a touch of modernism and dishes that can be shared well, that’s what we offer. It is an experience to come and eat here. ”
Barely launched, Xavier’s architectural project won several awards at the Grands Prix du design this year.