Restaurateurs in Place Jacques-Cartier will seek an injunction against the city to prevent an overhaul of the plaza and the installation of a central terrasse.
The city's plans include eliminating current restaurants' dining patios and building standardized ones close to the centre of the square.
Restaurant owners considered asking for an injunction as far back as May, but decided to go ahead with the request Tuesday afternoon.
"It's a long shot but it's better than not doing anything about it," said Stevie Hamron, operator of Pink Flamingo restaurant.
City isn't considering reality, restaurateurs say
Owners are concerned that the distance between the proposed central terrasse and the restaurants would be a "logistical nightmare."
"We'd have to navigate through a sea of people and hustle plates to the customer," Hamron said.
They're also worried about potential losses during bad weather, since waiters would have to carry plates through the rain.
"We're all for the embellishment of the area but they're not taking into consideration the reality," he said.
A spokesperson for the city said it won't comment on the injunction, but said similar renovation plans have worked in other cities and on St-Denis Street, and has the support of the Old Montreal business development association.
"The proposed plan will also allow us to liven up Place Jacques-Cartier in winter," said Marc-André Gosselin.
The restaurant owners plan to formally request the injunction in the coming days.