Au revoir, Edgar: Popular Gatineau brunch spot shutting doors

A woman rests her head against her hand and looks at the camera.
Marysol Foucault, the owner of Edgar in Gatineau, Que., poses for a photo outside her restaurant. After 13 years in business, Foucault is shutting down the popular eatery in mid-August. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

When chef Marysol Foucault launched her restaurant Edgar on a quiet Gatineau, Que., residential street in 2010, it quickly became a buzzworthy brunch spot.

Foucault had worked in the industry for years, and at the time ran a food blog with a strong following.

Now, 13 years later, the much-loved restaurant in the Val-Tétreau neighbourhood is about to serve its last rillettes and bowls of shakshouka.

Foucault is closing Edgar’s doors for good next month, telling CBC Radio’s All In A Day earlier this week that she wants to both work on other projects and spend more time with her family.

“I’ve never regretted my choice of being in the neighbourhood, and this neighbourhood has been so amazing for me,” Foucault said.

“I’m pretty proud of myself, lasting this whole while! Thirteen years, I think, is big in restaurant years.”

All in a Day10:49After 13 years, Gatineau’s Edgar restaurant will be closing its doors for good

Chef and owner Marysol Foucault talks about making the tough decision to call it quits, and rest

Last day Aug. 15

The thought of closing Edgar — named after Foucault’s father — first popped into her mind about a month ago, she told All In A Day.

While she initially felt compelled to keep the restaurant going for her customers and staff, Foucault said she realized hungry Edgar patrons would have plenty of other great local options — and COVID-19 labour pressures meant workers who wanted to stay in the restaurant industry weren’t lacking for choice, either.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many restaurants to make tough choices, and Edgar was no exception, with Foucault shutting down her dining room and pivoting to takeout comfort food meals.

Still, pandemic-related pressure didn’t play a significant role in her decision to call it quits, she said. Instead, she wanted to spend more quality time with her four-year-old son and her mother, who has health issues.

“I’m a competitive person. I love challenges!” Foucault said. “And every time I saw it as a challenge, I always [said to myself], I will not let this get to me. I will not lose.”

Edgar’s last day is Aug. 15. Foucault said she plans to take some time off and then explore a few new projects, including possibly writing a bilingual cookbook.

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