With a menu translated into French and an employee with the same last name as the mayor of Quebec, the Korean restaurant Bab Sang reopened its doors on Wednesday evening to the delight of its many customers.
“I found four hours in my schedule and I am happy to help them. They are adorable,” said Béatrice Marchand, a student at the École du Barreau du Québec who is not related to Bruno Marchand.
The young woman was busy on Wednesday through customer reception, take-out orders, telephone reservations and invoicing to be completed. At the end of the line, the calls were a little longer because of the messages of encouragement.
Without being totally crowded, the dining room was very busy. Already, the smiling staff has learned a few customary formulas such as “bon appétit”.
Le Journal was able to taste an excellent “Bul-go-gi BBQ”, or slices of beef grilled and marinated in Korean style.
A pride to develop
Caught up in a politico-linguistic saga, the restaurant of Maguire Avenue in Sillery has been in the news since October 12 because it was almost impossible to get service in French there.
Without making a formal apology, Bruno Marchand admitted that he should have shown more “benevolence” in this matter.
The mayor had previously said that the shortage of labor in he work should not be a “pretext” for not serving customers in French. Mr. Marchand agreed that he “definitely” could have expressed himself differently.
“There is indeed a lack of benevolence towards our merchants who take the initiative to come and settle. Already opening a business for a French-speaking Quebecer is a lot of effort. So, someone who decides to uproot themselves, it takes a bit of community benevolence.
You have to be proud to see them learn instead of being angry,” explained Stéphanie Salmaan, the first client of the evening with her husband and their 21-month-old son.
“It was a little ill-advised on the part of the mayor,” added Marc Boivin, a big fan of Korean food.
“It surprised me coming from him who worked at Centraide. But he apologized and it's perfect like that, “said another customer who requested anonymity.
The restaurateur did not want to comment on its reopening. Those around him explain that he wants to protect his children “who do not know racism”.
The latter will be able to count on temporary employees and volunteer servers to reopen his restaurant and offer service in French.
Business Development Corporation (SDC) Managing Director Maguire said he was happy to see that in the end people are coming together in solidarity behind the owner.
“I am very proud of the reaction of the people of the neighborhood. Citizens, politicians and traders are ready to help him. They understand the situation well and they want to correct it in order to welcome it. We are in a situation of adaptation and not of a negation of the French fact,” commented Bruno Salvail.
According to him, the restaurateur was required to learn a third language in barely four months .
“Hence my call for tolerance. He will learn it. I'm not worried. In six months to a year, he will be able to hold a conversation in French.”
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128