A Pas­sion for Plaza An­tique

Montreal Times - - News -

Mon­treal is burst­ing with pas­sion­ate peo­ple mak­ing our city bet­ter one song, art piece, or plate of food at a time. Franco Gagliano, co-owner and chef, and his team at Plaza An­tique are some of those peo­ple.

Gagliano’s time at Plaza An­tique dates to long be­fore his part­ner­ship. “I’ve been here as long as some of the fur­ni­ture,” he joked. He landed his first job at Plaza An­tique at age four­teen. “I worked here as a bus boy, kitchen help, and a waiter. Many years later I came back as a chef. This was the place I kept grav­i­tat­ing to. It has al­ways been a part of my life.”

When the op­por­tu­nity to com­bine his pas­sion for cook­ing and his life­long dream of own­er­ship pre­sented it­self, Gagliano jumped at the chance. “I know the busi­ness. I know the ins and outs of the build­ing,” he said. Gagliano and his busi­ness part­ners pur­chased Plaza An­tique in 2006. The 1200-person space was a dream project with po­ten­tial.

In the years since ac­quir­ing Plaza An­tique, the own­ers have ex­panded, re­vamped, and even opened a full restau­rant in 2016. Plans for a sec­ond lo­ca­tion in Que­bec’s coun­try­side are near­ing reality—in­clud­ing a pri­vate vine­yard. De­spite his in­creased to-do list, “I still come to work and get down and dirty with every­body else.”

Franco Gagliano cred­its Plaza An­tique’s suc­cess to his team. “This is by no means a solo project,” he said.“I have amaz­ing peo­ple with me. I am only as strong as my team, and I have a great team.”

Work­ing in the ser­vice in­dus­try re­quires long hours that of­ten in­clude peak times most spend with fam­ily. “I spend more time with my team than I do with my own fam­ily,” he said. On day with no events sched­uled, Gagliano clocks out around 5:00pm. How­ever, Plaza An­tique is rarely not busy. “When we have events, my day doesn’t end un­til there is noth­ing left to serve.” Week­ends are an en­tirely dif­fer­ent story, in­clud­ing longer hours in the kitchen.

The same is true for his co-own­ers.“The num­ber of hours that we put in—you can only do if you love it. Oth­er­wise, you would never do it.” To­gether, their ded­i­ca­tion has earned the re­spect of both their em­ploy­ees and their guests.

De­spite their ex­pan­sions, no amount of money makes Gagliano and his part­ners’ jobs re­ward­ing— in­stead, it is their in­di­vid­ual pas­sion that keeps them go­ing. It is the feed­back they re­ceive from guests af­ter a job well done. “At the end of the day, our sat­is­fac­tion is a job well done,” he said. “I won’t do some­thing that I am not proud of. I won’t put out some­thing that I am not happy with.”

The man­ag­ing team meets weekly to review the week’s events and feed­back. Gagliano loves to pass the pos­i­tive re­sponse along to his em­ploy­ees.

The Fuel for Franco’s

Pas­sion

When Gagliano isn’t work­ing, he spends as much time as pos­si­ble with his fam­ily. “I have an amaz­ing fam­ily,” he said. “They fuel my pas­sion.” His “out of this world” wife and three kids un­der­stand his busy sched­ule. They make time to­gether on Sun­days and Mon­days more of­ten than typ­i­cal week­ends. His strong sup­port sys­tem at home makes it pos­si­ble to put his pas­sion on the plates at Plaza An­tique ev­ery day. The Plaza Ex­pe­ri­ence

Plaza An­tique of­fers fullser­vice event venues from cor­po­rate through to wed­dings. Their pack­ages are cus­tom­iz­a­ble to meet each guest’s needs. “We do what the cus­tomer wants,” Gagliano said. “There is no limit.That is the chal­lenge: Do­ing it, and do­ing it well.”

Their six rooms ac­com­mo­date any­where be­tween twenty and 500 peo­ple.There is a rooftop ter­race, dance floors, end­less linens, con­fer­ence equip­ment, and sound sys­tems. “We have dif­fer­ent looks for dif­fer­ent types of events,” said Gagliano. The event co­or­di­na­tors and team in both the back and front of the house are trained to im­press. “We work to­gether and we find a way.”

“We get a lot of good feed­back,” Gagliano said.A lot of guests re­turn to Plaza An­tique ex­pect­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence un­like any other. Some re­turn­ing guests trust Plaza An­tique’s staff to or­ga­nize their events with­out any di­rec­tion. “We give more than they ex­pect. That’s our se­cret to our suc­cess.”

Gagliano and his team be­lieve in a hard day’s work, and giv­ing ev­ery­thing they can to their guests. “Your pas­sion is in your hands,” he said. “It’s in ev­ery­thing that you put out. It’s a labour of love. We brought it to life.” They pride them­selves in the qual­ity of the ex­pe­ri­ence they pro­vide. No cut­ting cor­ners; no sac­ri­fic­ing qual­ity for speed.

Plaza An­tique has a fan­tas­tic team with a keen eye for de­tail

Plaza An­tique beau­ti­ful in­te­rior

6086 Sher­brooke St E, Mon­treal, QC H1N 1C1

(514) 255-2922

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