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Shap's Soda and Lunch fonds (P725)

1924-1958. - 10 cm of textual records. - 12 photographs.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

Bernard Shaposnick, with his wife Beatrice, owned and operated small restaurants in Montreal for many years, from the 1920s to the 1950s. Originally, Mr. Shaposnick's restaurant business began as a small "soda shop" on Pine Avenue. It then expanded to three locations: 291 Mount Royal Avenue West, 488 St. Catherine Street West and 3750 St. Lawrence Boulevard. Like other families who operated restaurants in Montreal during that era, the Shaposnicks lived upstairs from the restaurant at the Mount Royal address, later moving to reside above the St. Lawrence address.

Locals (including William Shatner) popularized Bernard Shaposnick's sodas, which were his restaurant's speciality. In fact, the soda shops were so popular that they remained successful even in the worst years of the Depression. It was not until after the war that the original soda shops closed, due in part to Montreal's growing economic prosperity and changing food preferences. Subsequently, Bernard Shaposnick and his wife opened a cafeteria at 1435 St. Alexander Street, in the heart of Montreal's fur district.

Scope and Content:

This fonds pertains to the businesses owned and operated by the Shaposnick family in Montreal: the Pine Avenue Candy Store, Shap's Soda and Lunch, and B. & B. Cafeteria. It provides partial information on their financial management and on the meals they offered.

The fonds contains two account books (one for the Pine Avenue Candy Store, and the other for Shap's Soda and Lunch), a receipt book, a portfolio from the Sun Life Insurance Company, various other documents, including forms with Shap's letterhead and cards, and a series of various menus.

The fonds also contains photographs, some showing Bernard and/or Beatrice Shaposnick in their soda shop, the restaurant's employees, patrons at the counter, and store windows. Some more personal snapshots show their daughter Lenora.

The fonds is divided into the following series:

  • P725/A: Financial Documents
  • P725/B: Menus
  • P725/C: Misc. Documents
  • P725/D: Photographs