Rockland Centre Launches Innovative Food Destination

Rockland Centre, photo: Cominar

Rockland Centre, photo: Cominar

By Mario Toneguzzi

Cominar has launched a fresh new food court concept at its Rockland Centre mall in Montreal.

The real estate company said La Cuisine is inspired by the latest trends in design and the restaurant industry.

“Our unique concept redefines the culinary experience in a shopping centre food court, making Rockland a pioneer on the Montreal food scene,” said Cominar in launching the concept.

Manon Larose, Vice-President, Leasing – Retail at Cominar, said the company is offering Rockland’s clientele a leading-edge food court with innovative concepts like food trucks that change every three months, free culinary workshops with renowned Montreal chefs and a three-season outdoor terrace.

Rockland is a prominent upscale mall in the higher-end neighbourhood of Mount Royal in Montreal.

PHOTO: PATRICIA BROCHU

PHOTO: PATRICIA BROCHU

PHOTO: PATRICIA BROCHU

PHOTO: PATRICIA BROCHU

“We wanted to bring back Rockland to what it was but with the tastes or the needs of today with what the people are looking for in food and fashion. The first move that we did was think about repositioning or redeveloping our food court area. This is why we created this new mix of a food court, food hall with a kind of restaurant spirit to it and different uses also,” said Larose.

Other innovations include:

  • A large atrium with open-concept kitchens and floor-to-ceiling windows that offers extraordinary luminosity;

  • A central Italian restaurant and bar with personalized service;

  • The Children’s Garden, a fun kids’ zone with a play area; and

  • A tailored waste-sorting service to maximize composting and recycling as part of Rockland’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

The company said permanent restaurants include BÀCARO Pizzeria, Pastaga, Liv Salades, Taberna, Jerry’s, Cultures, Souvlaki Bar, Torino Grill and A&W. The current food trucks are Duck Truck MTL and Mignon Churros & Nougat. In April, Tomio and Le Cheese Truck will be taking their place.

“We want to offer Rockland customers the best in Montreal cuisine by inviting three acclaimed chefs to give demonstrations at La Cuisine du Chef, our innovative experiential space in the new food court,” said Caroline Lacroix, Vice-President, Communications and Marketing at Cominar. “We are proud to be working with top celebrities from Montreal’s culinary scene, who have a strong attachment to Rockland.”

Rockland’s culinary ambassadors are TV and radio host Sébastien Benoit and renowned chef Martin Juneau (Pastaga and Pastaga Boutique at Rockland).

One of the objectives was to improve the productivity of the food court.

“What differentiates our food court from the others is we created a central unit which is an Italian concept where you will be able to have a glass of wine, a beer, a drink. So it’s something that is really different and it is stunning in the middle of the food court,” said Larose.

“We addressed what people want to eat today. So we have the market type of offering with Pastaga and we have the healthy component with Liv Salades. We have a taste of a little bit around the world with a Greek concept, a Peruvian concept.”

The food court is about 30,000 square feet with about 6,000 square feet used by about 15 operators.

Rockland Centre, which opened in 1959, has about 175 stores in about 654,000 square feet. It is located in the west end of Montreal at the intersection of Highways 15 and 40.

When it first opened, it was an open mall. Cominar has owned the shopping centre since 2015.

The shopping centre includes upscale brands such as Browns Shoes, Marie Saint Pierre, Judith & Charles, Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman, Massimo Dutti and, exclusive to Rockland in Canada, Karen Millen.

PHOTO: PATRICIA BROCHU

PHOTO: PATRICIA BROCHU

PHOTO: PATRICIA BROCHU

PHOTO: PATRICIA BROCHU

Recently Rockland welcomed Boutique Griffon (toys store), Chien mondain (fashion dog accessories), M0851, Maison Elama as a pop up shop, Obag, Pizzeria 900, Renaud Bray, Iris Setlakwe just to name a few. Lacroix said the mall is excited to welcome M/2 Boutique later in 2019. M/2 will offer to modern women and men numerous fashion brand such as Hugo Boss, Zegna, Eton, Tiger of Sweden and Tom Ford.

“We see the trend not only in Montreal of entertainment and food is also a big component of success in a mall,” said Lacroix. “On the event side of the food court, we also have a place where we will welcome master chefs that will come here and do some events and some demonstrations for consumers.”

Cominar is the second largest diversified real estate investment trust in Canada and the largest commercial property owner in Quebec. It owns a real estate portfolio of 427 properties in three different market segments: office properties, retail properties and industrial and flex properties. Cominar’s portfolio totals 38.1 million square feet located in the Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa areas.

Mario.jpg

Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com

SUBSCRIBE to Retail Insider's Daily E-News for Free:

* indicates required