Restaurant-bar at centre of tragic Lac-Megantic train derailment for sale

MONTREAL — The popular restaurant-bar that became a symbol of the deadly 2013 train derailment in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic is up for sale.

Le Musi-Cafe owner Yannick Gagne has set the asking price at $2.5 million and says he has decided to sell the establishment because of great opportunities to work in show business.

Gagne said a few people called him and said they were interested in working with him and he accepted.

“I’m going to be 40 and after talking with my family and my wife, I made a decision,” Gagne said in an interview Monday.

“I’m ready to face new challenges and that’s why I decided to put it up for sale.”

Gagne, who has operated the establishment for 16 years, said the sale price is slightly more than what he spent to rebuild after the July 2013 tragedy.

“It’s almost the same amount we spent on rebuilding … we put in almost $2.4 million,” he said.

The two-storey venue with two outdoor patios reopened in December 2014.

Nearly two-thirds of the 47 victims who died after the train derailed and exploded were inside the restaurant-bar at the time.

When the Musi-Cafe reopened, Gagne had a staff of about 20, which was five more employees than before.

Gagne said his first Musi-Cafe opened its doors in 2002.

“It was a small place and over the years we made it bigger and renovated it three times,” he said.

“Three times we changed the look to become more up-to-date and, after that, I rebuilt it after the tragedy.”

Gagne said the Musi-Cafe has become a popular destination and not just for the locals.

“The restaurant is going well, we have clients who come from everywhere — even internationally — from Europe and the United States who have heard about us and drop in for a meal and a glass,” he said.

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