EXCLUSIVE: Cafe pushed out by superhospital after 17 years

Domenico Covone sitting outside Café Mauro

The owner of a coffee shop across from the Vendôme metro station says he's gone through hell since the construction of the superhospital started and now his business is being pushed out after 17 years.

When the MUHC became his new landlord three years ago, Domenico Covone says he desperately tried to solidify a long term lease for his Café Mauro.

“For three years, they wouldn’t give me answers,” Covone said.

Last week, Wayne Heuff, hired by the MUHC as a consultant, went to the cafe to advise him that his lease would not be renewed July 1.

“We had hope after a few years that things would get better but it turned out to be a nightmare.   You think the hospital will be here, the cafe will pick up value, and instead I’m losing everything.  I never expected this would happen,” Covone told CJAD.

“You see that lady over there, when I leave she’s going to be lost, she has no family, I invited her for Christmas because she’s alone, she’s been coming every morning for the last three years.”

“I’m here every day, he’s my family, we will all miss him a lot, it will be a big change,” the customer Elsera Leone said.

MUHC spokesperson, Julie Paquet, told CJAD the building at 5252 de Maisonneuve West would be used for clinical activities.  She said they were transparent with Covone and offered him an extra month to find a new location.

Covone says he doesn't think he'll keep running his cafe.

“I’ll go on with my life; I’ll do other things. At least I won’t have any more headaches.”

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