Quebec Korean restaurant owner closes dining hall after threats over lack of French


The owner of Quebec City restaurant Bab Sang has solely been on the town for just a few months, however he might quickly pack his luggage and depart.

“I’m significantly now planning to maneuver my enterprise to Montreal or Ottawa,” he instructed Noovo Info on Thursday, talking at his restaurant on Maguire Avenue.

The Korean eatery was the topic of fierce backlash earlier this week after an article in Le Soleil uncovered its lack of French-language service. 

According to the report, the restaurant’s servers do not communicate French, and the names of dishes on the menu are in English.

The owner of Bab Sang stated he is acquired threatening cellphone calls because the article was revealed. For this cause, he requested that his title be saved non-public.

“Most Quebecois in Quebec City, they’re actually type and mild and good individuals, however some individuals actually do not like me,” he stated.

He determined to shut the restaurant’s dining room for concern of harassment.

“I would like to guard my staff now.”

Quebec’s language constitution dictates that each one shoppers, together with restaurant patrons, have a proper to be told and served in French.

The restaurateur plans to open the doorways once more as soon as French-speaking employees is employed — however the course of hasn’t been straightforward, because the labour scarcity has made discovering employees a problem.

Bruno Salvail, director of the enterprise growth group SDC Maguire, instructed Noovo Info he feels sympathy for the owner and his state of affairs.

“He instructed me all he is achieved to rent French staff, however that it is not working,” stated Salvail, noting that the employees at Bab Sang are all members of the family.

Bab Sang restaurant in Quebec City. (Noovo Info)


Bab Sang’s owner isn’t a local English speaker both — he picked it up when he lived in Australia, earlier than shifting to New Brunswick for just a few years. 

Now that he is on Quebec soil, he deliberate to do the identical factor, however with la langue officielle.

“I actually love Quebec City, so I made a decision to come back right here, though I can not communicate French — however actually, I can be taught the language,” he stated.

He expressed a want to combine into the Quebec City group. 

“We didn’t come right here to interrupt their tradition,” he added. “We like Quebec City, we need to be a part of the Quebecois, collectively.”

But now, as a result of of the backlash, he might not stick round lengthy sufficient to be taught French — a actuality that has Salvail feeling discouraged.

“Remember that this particular person has been in Quebec for 4 months, he is of Korean origin, who moved to New Brunswick, primarily in Fredericton, for 5 years. And now we’re asking him to talk fluent French?” he stated.

“Really, I’m asking myself critical questions on the place we have ended up right here […] to be so illiberal.”

“I believe we have now to present them time to seek out employees and be taught the language.”

With recordsdata from Noovo Info’s Raquel Fletcher and Emeric Montminy. 


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