Renovation of the Cote-des-Neiges restaurant

Running a Chinese restaurant in Montreal was my experimental project at the beginning, we chose a low cost turn-key(means old, here) restaurant to start. After three years, we found that as we improved our food and services every day, we have more and more customers like us. The past three years showed the business model of Cuisine AuntDai is feasible and it’s worth continuing.

Over the time, we already replaced a lot of equipment in the kitchen. We bought a brand new Chinese stove from Toronto, a brand new commercial dish washer, new rice cookers and a rice warmer, several stainless steel work tables, and deep fryers. The kitchen was totally different from what we took over.

Then we needed a big change especially in the dining room.

We planned to have a one-week renovation at the end of March since the weather would be warm to carry out renovations and less customers around this time.

First, listed the areas we wanted to improve.

a), the paint in the dining room was old

b), the lights were old.

c), the water cooling unit was noisy and sitting at one corner, difficult to cool the whole room.

d), speakers were at one corner, it’s loud for some seats but very low for other seats

e), porch roof was broken and did not shelter well when it’s raining

f), storage room was in a bad condition, the floor and ceiling were broken.

g), kitchen walls were not all covered by ceramic tiles, difficult to clean.


We did not have experience or expertise to design a new dining room so we hired an interior designer.

The goal of the dining room renovation was a clean, simple, not-too-fancy design and easy to implement within the budget and one week time frame.

After two weeks communication with the designer and we got the final blueprint of the new dining room. It’s not been easy, the designer always tried to have pretty designs and I had to shut down a lot of propositions and chose the not-so-great options. After all I am a businessman, right?

After the final design was confirmed, we spent a lot time to buy all the materials and it’s really fun.

When the time came for the renovation, knocking down walls, it was crazy.

For that last week of March 2017, we worked day and night. And the restaurant was reopened on April 1st 2017 with a totally new look.

All of our customers liked our new look and they were also surprised we could do so much work within such short period of time. I would say, I am an engineer and like planning and I got so much support from a lot of people.

Here are what we achieved on the items:

a), the ceiling and walls in the dining room and wash rooms were repainted and we installed ceramic tiles at the back of the cashier and entrances as well to reproduce our orange/yellow stripes which are on our sign board. Also, we installed brand new bath room vanities.

b), we totally redesigned the layout of lights, adjustable hanging lamps over each table and adjustable spot lights on the ceiling.

c), removed the water cooling unit and installed two brand new AC split units, quiet and cool everywhere in the room.

d), installed Bose Freespace 3 sound system with in-ceiling speakers, really nice with great quality of sound. Also we installed a lot of power plugs along the wall so every table has at least one power plug so our customer can charge their laptop or cellphones.

e), the porch roof was repaired and RAINY days no more.

f), We poured cement in the storage room and the floor was leveled and painted with garage paint. Walls and ceiling were wrapped with stainless steel sheets. The storage room was almost perfect after this project.

g), we covered the walls in the kitchen with ceramic tiles, very easy to clean.


After the renovation, I was really excited but also exhausted. I even did not take many pictures of the new look dining room here are some only pictures I can find now.


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