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This 24-hour diner was a local legend for Montrealers looking for late night breakfast and a hub for the Habs in the 1980s. The 1960s style diner closed on December 7th 2015 to the dismay of many loyal late night patrons who will greatly miss their 3:00am ‘grand slam’ breakfasts. Boasting a long list of celebrity patrons, such as Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Jodie Foster, the late Patrick Swayze, and the bandmates of Blue Rodeo, Moe’s was a family owned institution for many years.
Moe’s-Casse-Croute-du-Coin, also known as the ‘Corner Snack Bar’ in English, was truly a family affair. Founded by Moe Sweigman in 1958 the restaurant was later purchased by Peter and Bessie Thomas before being taken over by their son Eddy Thomas who ran the business for many years before its recent closure. At the time of its closure Moe’s employed eight staff members, most of whom were family, including Eddy Thomas’ 82-year-old mother.
Moe’s boasted a loyal customer following that frequented the 24-hour diner at the corner of Maisonneuve Blvd. and Lambert-Clossé St. for many years. Among their most celebrated regulars were the Habs players and coaches. In the 1980s Patrick Roy, Chris Chelios, Lyle Odelein, Stéphan Lebeau and J.J. Daigneault could be seen enjoying a drink and all-day breakfast at the Corner Snack Bar. In an article written by John Meagher for the Montreal Gazette Moe’s owner Eddy Thomas mused of one particularly memorable night when a customer stole a bite of Habs enforcer Chris Nilan’s meal. As Thomas recounts or the Gazette: “Knuckles was sitting there eating a burger with a buddy of his. A drunk guy walks in not knowing it’s Chris Nilan, walks up, picks up his burger, takes a bite of and puts it back on Knuckles’ plate. Knuckles got up … He punched him once and the guy was out cold.” While the diner saw a lot of late night action most of the drunk patrons were more interested in sharing some greasy late night food than cause a ruckus.
The diner looked like it was pulled right out of the 1960s. Ample wood finishings, loads of potted greenery and jukeboxes adorning the booths made Moe’s a nostalgic eatery that served customers young and old. Moe’s wasn’t only well know for its decor. Serving up greasy food really late was what made Moe’s so special. A late night venue for drunk Montrealers looking for a bite to eat; Moe’s was never closed.
As Gazette writer John Meagher notes of Moe’s unfortunate closure; “if the Forum closing marked the beginning of the end for Moe’s, Thomas said a dearth of street parking sealed its fate. He blamed the bike path on de Maisonneuve Blvd. and the removal of parking spots on Lambert-Clossé St. for driving away clients.”