It’s official – the families of Céline Dion and well–known restaurateur Paul Nakis have purchased the 84-year old Montréal institution Schwartz’s deli.
Opened in 1928 on Montreal’s fabled “Main” (St. Laurent Boulevard) by Reuben Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Romania, the city’s best-loved diner has a worldwide reputation for smoked meat sandwiches so good that locals and tourists alike will often wait hours on the sidewalk for a cramped table and bite.
Angélil quashed rumours that he would be opening franchises, adding that he was not interested in “diluting the brand.” He said the new owners would make some necessary improvements (and there’s no doubt a few are called for!), but he doesn’t want to make the restaurant into something it isn’t.
“It’s truly one-of-a-kind, and we intend to keep it this way,” he said.
The Dion-Angélil and Nakis families bought it for an undisclosed sum from Hy Diamond, who took over the business from Schwartz in 1999.
“Hy Diamond has poured his heart and soul into building this business,” said Angélil. “We want him to be proud of our efforts to continue along the same path.”