Photographie: Studio Pub Photo
LE QUARANTE 7: MODERN TRADITION
Le Grand Théâtre de Québec opened its doors in 1971. It was built in the brutalist architectural style of the 1970s. A glass shell was recently added to protect the concrete edifice from degradation. It now stands as a shining example of the importance of tradition in modernism.
For the last 22 years, another tradition for the theatre’s patrons was to enjoy one of Quebec city’s most celebrated culinary venues, the 47e parallèle restaurant, before or after a show. Located just across from the theatre, it was originally designed by architectural grandmaster Roméo Côté.
And just like its neighbour out front, the restaurant needed a refresh: a way to attract a younger crowd without alienating its loyal base. It was also an opportunity to fix some of the less practical aspects of the original design to improve flow and productivity and avoid any unused or wasted space.
The owners were looking for a smooth transition from the staple that was 47e parallèle to its reincarnation as Restaurant Le Quarante 7, a modernized take on the more classical name.
The dining room’s red banquettes and hushed vibe were replaced by more luminous tones of blue, brass and velvet. A lounge area was created and furnished with made-to-measure seating by local companies like Trica and Romano. The kitchen space was increased by 25% and fully reorganized to accommodate a budding catering service. Rounded shapes and smoother textures were used to dampen the restaurant’s harsh concrete shell. Different sections were defined within the dining room area to offer a variety of atmospheres. And, as a tribute to the Le Grand Théâtre’s numerous musical venues, trombone-shaped light fixtures were designed by local artisan Luminaire Authentik.
But, more importantly, the traditionalist and the nostalgic will still feel right at home as most of the furniture and original materials have been recuperated, refurbished and given a touch of patina and sheen that could fool even the most diligent patron. A conscientious and thoughtful gesture that should also please the Eco-responsible crowd.
If a smooth transition is one that allows ceramic tables and massive blue armchairs to live alongside the classic white cloth experience—and a new clientèle to mix with a more mature audience—, then Restaurant Le Quarante 7 has all the ingredients to create a modern tradition of its own.