About Us - Dunn's Famous - The Original Montreal Deli


"A deli restaurant is all about the people" - Myer Dunn

So he only ever had the one restaurant, remembers Ina, his daughter and his store manager for 20 years. And Ina adds:

"Now in my restaurant, as before with my father, I don't let one person come through without saying hello and goodbye to them." -

Ina Devine

photo of Myer Dunn

Dunn's Famous Delicatessen is one of the few top delis that have made smoked meat an icon of Montreal culture.

Dunn’s stood as Canada's largest delicatessen and a key refreshment point in downtown Montreal throughout many decades while Montreal was Canada's largest and busiest city. The restaurant was a narrow two-story operation on downtown Ste. Catherine Street West, filled with great food and lots of laughter. The front window was not ornate - instead it was laden with the foods that drew the crowds - cheese cake and bagels, large jars of red peppers and pickles, and of course smoked meat. Bright and easily accessible, in the heart of a city that feels sleep is for the other provinces, it became a landmark destination for the best food.

photo of Stanley & Ina Devine

Myer's daughter Ina - who worked with her father for over 20 years as his store manager in Montreal - and her husband, Stanley Devine, expanded the Dunn's franchise into booming Ottawa with two successful downtown locations and with rights for growth across North America. Now - as in decades past - hungry people can drop into Dunn's at all hours to scarf back a smoked meat with the crunchy pickle and the creamy slaw. The occupations change - tonight it may be top programmers from Ottawa's high tech Silicon Valley North, and back then workers from the clothing industry - but the food stays the same - that wonderful Montreal smoked meat.

photo of Dunn's - 892 Ste. Catherine Street West, Montreal

Myer Dunn, the founder of Dunn's Famous Delicatessen, immigrated to Montreal, Canada in 1911 with his parents when he was just an infant. His early education in Montreal came both from the academic system where he learned the basics and from the street where he came to understand people. This latter source of education proved to be one of his most valuable assets.

At the very early age of 17, Myer's keen observations of the eating habits of the shift workers at the clothing factories in his neighbourhood gave him a tremendous idea. He noted that these hourly-paid labourers needed a restaurant that could provide quickly prepared, fresh and sustaining food on a 24-hour basis. Myer realized that the skills and traditions that his parents brought with them from Europe were exactly what was needed - therein came the birth of the first Montreal sandwich shop - open 24 hours each day!

In 1927, Myer opened his first Delicatessen on Montreal's Papineau Street near Mount Royal. Like all hard working immigrant children, Myer worked diligently at perfecting his business, smoking his meat in the same tradition that his parents had learned in Europe and then hand cutting it in thin slices to provide his clientele with the best taste experience possible.

The momentum at the Deli that Myer built grew, and in 1940, as a result of the phenomenal success of the smoked meat sales, he opened a meat processing and packaging plant. It was Myer's objective to give the people better availability of his smoked meat by creating wider distribution. However, after a few years, he realized that he missed the interaction with his hundreds and thousands of customers and decided to go back into the delicatessen business. "There", he said, "I can see my customers enjoy the quality of my smoked meats."

In 1948, Myer opened his second restaurant and the first to carry the name of "Dunn's Famous Delicatessen". It was located on Mount Royal Boulevard and Park Avenue.

But Myer had even grander dreams. His new dream was to offer his smoked meats to a greater number of people who came to downtown Montreal daily to work and enjoy the night-life in the City's core. So in 1955, Myer pursued his dream and opened his renowned restaurant in downtown Montreal on Ste. Catherine Street West.

Then one fateful day during the seventies, one of the managers went on vacation and Ina was called by her Dad to give a hand - and stayed to help for twenty-odd years - to carry on the Dunn's tradition of food excellence and deli warmth.

Stanley and Ina and the Dunn's family invite you to share in the food that makes memories.


 Our Header

Our website header is a view of Montreal at night taken from the Lachine Canal.

The photo was taken by Stephan Duchesne on August 20, 2004. Stephan used a tripod-mounted Canon EOS Digital Rebel, ISO 100 - his exposure was f/7.1 for 3 seconds.


Montreal at Night
Here is the description of 11 of the 15 tallest buildings breaking the Montreal skyline (from left to right):

1250 Blvd. Rene Levesque (white light on top with antenna): 199m (spire 230.4m)(47 floors) built in 1992

CIBC Building (with yellow logo and antenna): 187m (45 floors) built in 1962

Marriott Chateau Champlain (Hotel with red Marriott logo on top): 133m (38 floors) built in 1963

1000 de la Gauchetiere (tallest building of Montreal): 205m (51 floors) built in 1992

1501 McGill College (with the triangle white lights on top): 158m (36 floors) built in 1992

Place Ville-Marie (with the single white light on top): 181.1m (43 floors) built in 1962

Place de la Cathedrale (with the yellow light on top): 146m (34 floors) built in 1987

Telus Tower: 140m (34 floors) built in 1960

Bell Tower - Tour Bell (with Bell blue sign): 128m (28 floors) built in 1983

National Bank Tower - Tour de la Banque Nationale: 128m (28 floors) built in 1983

Stock Exchange Tower - Tour de la Bourse (with vertical white lines): 190m (47 floors) built in 1963

source: http://www.skyscraperpage.com

  Copyright 2006 by CJ Katz. All rights reserved. 
The content, design and graphical elements of this web site are all under copyright.

Last updated April 23, 2010 by Becquet Enterprises