Welcome to Shô-Dan

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Once upon a time, there was a couple in love who always went to the same restaurant to eat their favourite food in the world: sushi. Their passion was such that they wanted to open their own sushi restaurant and have the best people in the world prepare and serve those pretty pieces of fish that they had loved for so many years. And that's how Sho-Dan came into the world in the summer of 1998, followed, four years later, by another love child.

This true story is that of Madonna Bailey and Eric Payne, who were regulars at the Mikado Restaurant on Saint Denis Street. The couple went one to three times a week, and, over time, formed ties with some of the employees, whose talent and knowledge they admired.

One day, Madonna asked Chinh, one of the Mikado's sushi chefs who had become a friend, to form a team for a new restaurant. Because she spent between $7,000 and $8,000 a year on sushi, Madonna said to herself, "Why not form a partnership with people who know the restaurant business and invest in a restaurant that would serve my favourite food?" Intrigued by Madonna's proposal, Chinh, alias Romeo (the name of a sushi he had invented), talked to four of his colleagues: a waitress and three sushi chefs. All were excited about the project: they were young and wanted to take up this stimulating challenge - and, most of all, they wanted to work for themselves.

Madonna, who worked in the financial district in Downtown Montreal, began to look for the ideal space to bring her project - now also the project of six other people - to life. The "group of seven" wanted their future restaurant to be in a busy area in the heart of the action, so that they could be open at noon and in the evening. "For the fish to be fresh," Kim, assistant manager at Sho-Dan, says, "things have to move. Without people, things don't move." So, when Madonna saw the "For Rent" sign on a building belonging to Standard Life at 2020 Metcalfe, the address seemed perfect...or almost: it took a year and a half to work before the housewarming party could take place!

The new lessees asked two friends - an architect and a designer - to reconstruct and redecorate the space on Metcalfe Street, which had previously been a Mexican restaurant-bar. It was a radical change, so much so that when the previous lessees came into Sho-Dan, they didn't recognize their old place and thought they'd gone to the wrong address! The ambience, featuring eggshell and café-au-lait tones, was elegant and inviting. The addition of columns and a mezzanine provided greater intimacy to the space, which had very high ceilings and huge windows. And the tables with tablecloths and upholstered chairs provided beauty and comfort. Sho-Dan was ready to receive its customers! next page...

Details & Features

Type: Japanese, Sushi, Desserts, Asian, Fusion, Wine
Features: Casual Dining, Extensive Wine List, Full Dinner Menu, Group Functions, Daily Specials, Hotel(s) Nearby, Lunch, Private Dining, Celebrity Spot, Wheelchair Accessible, WiFi
Neighbourhood: Downtown, Ville-Marie
Payment: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Interac
Price Range: $$$$ » Moderate (Between $10 to $20)
Atmosphere: Trendy
Attire: Dressy Casual

Operating Hours

Hours may change during holidays or special occasions. Please contact the establishment for specific information.

Monday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Tuesday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Wednesday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Thursday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED