In Celebration of

John Vago

December 5, 1923 -  October 20, 2018

King of Crescent Street
The entrepreneur, engineer, and philanthropic ‘King’ of Crescent Street, John Vago, passed away peacefully on the 20th of October 2018 surrounded by his family, in Montreal, Québec.

Born on the 5th December, 1923 in Budapest, Hungary, he came to Canada in 1951, bringing with him a café culture and bonhomie characteristic of post-war Europe found in such cosmopolitan cities as Vienna, Milan, Prague, Budapest and Paris.

Montréal embraced the European café life as proposed by the young Vago who led his multi-cultural, interdisciplinary team alongside his architect brother, Peter Vago, on to building an empire consisting of the Boiler Room, Oliver’s, Carmen’s, The Casa Pedro to name a few of his innovative venues, culminating in the acclaimed ‘Winston Churchill Pub’ and ‘Winnie’s’.

Crescent Street became the go-to club / bar / restaurant scene also attracting star-studded personalities to this day.

John Vago was humble, loyal to his Hungarian roots but ultimately proud to be Canadian, and a Montrealer until the end. His engaging, charismatic personality, visionary outlook combined with his humanitarian empathy, are a hard act to follow.

He will be remembered for his incredible generosity, his capacity to give many young people a start in life, and was a genuine leader in the vein of his mentor, Sir Winston Churchill.

He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and co-workers alike.

John Vago’s wake/remembrance will be held at Winnie’s. For further information, please contact:


(5 of 28)

Teresa Slevin (Former employee)

Entered October 21, 2018 from Montreal

My deepest condolences on the death of Mr John Vago.
He was one of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of working for.
RIP Mr. Vago.

Luc Deslauriers (Former employee)

Entered October 21, 2018 from Ploinville, CT USA

Sincere condolences to the Vago family. John was a great man, a visionary business man and a mentor to many.

Caroline Freeme De Wallens (My employer)

Entered October 21, 2018 from Florida

A true gentleman... I will miss Johnny's kindness... always a hug for me ...
My sincerest condolences to his family and friends xoxo

Frank G. Pragai (One of the Pragai's and Shafer clan.)

Entered October 21, 2018 from Lachine

God bless.

elizabeth morgan (friend since 1971)

Entered October 21, 2018 from Hudson

He was a gentleman and a friend and to my husband Chuck Dean