Tag Archives: Nightlife

:: Drink in Montreal: Bagg Taverne

10 out



July 3, 2009

The neighborhood bar is, of course, not just for those that live nearby, though the locals certainly do tend to spend a lot of time there. Neighborhood bars do however always feature a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere, a friendly bartender or two and a commitment to keeping their drinks reasonably priced.

Bagg Taverne, located in the Montreal neighborhood of Mile End, is just this type of place. Being a person who likes this kind of spot (I think I might have one in every neighborhood in the city), I swung by during their opening night to take a look…


Bagg Taverne is a comfortable little spot on Fairmount (a couple blocks from Fairmount Bagels), just east of St-Laurent. Frédéric Authier, the bar’s manager, calls it “a cozy little tavern”. His assessment is accurate- it is small, but well designed and a bit classier than that bar in the TV show Cheers.

In fact, the space used to be occupied by a great wine bar called Bouchonné (which has since moved around the corner) and the new place has retained some of its upscale charm. But don’t let it fool you, the main draw of Bagg Taverne is their wide selection of beers (go for the big bottle!), home made bar snacks, free foosball (known as “Babyfoot” in Quebec), and if there’s soccer, hockey or football to be watched, sports a-plenty.


All in all, a nice addition to the neighborhood. If you go there soon, you might even become a regular before the locals do.Bagg Taverne, (514) 277-2226, 9 Fairmount East.

Photo Credit: Gabrielle Sykes


:: Beer Bottle Paradise in Montreal

8 out



August 14, 2009

The province of Quebec has over 1600 micro-breweries serving more types of beer than you could drink in two lifetimes. Sure, most people know the French love their wine, but Montreal is getting increasingly obsessed with some of the best beer in the world…

Yes, you read that right: 1600 micro-breweries. With such a huge number to deal with, where to possibly begin? Thankfully, the hip Montreal neighbourhood known as the Mile End has got you covered in one small, unassuming dépanneur. (The dépanneur is basically a corner store that serves everything from chips to canned soup to toilet paper.


In Quebec, they also serve wine and beer until 11pm every night of the week). While most “deps” serve a standard selection of imported and domestic beers (Molson Brewery, founded in Montreal in 1786, is North America’s oldest brewery), the one called “Le Paradis de la Biere” (“Beer Paradise”) is something special.

Located on upscale Laurier Avenue, near the great drink spot Barmacie Baldwin, is a small store that, save the sign, looks pretty much like every other dep in the city. But, as soon as you walk in, you notice the difference. They carry over 500 different types of beer, 400 of which are from Quebec.

The place is literally covered in beer bottles. While they have do beers from the bigger micro-breweries (like St-Ambroise, Boreale, Belle Geule, etc.) they also carry many that I’d never seen before. They have a McAuslan Scotch Ale that won the bronze prize at the 2002 World Beer Cup.


They have a carrot beer. They also have a Saint-Arnould dark stout that cost almost $20. The owners of the dep even make their own beer, the aptly named Paradisiac. In short, “Beer Paradise” treats beer like fine wine and its knowledgeable staff know a little bit about all 500 varieties.

Did you also know that, in Montreal, you can drink beer in the park during opening hours as long as you have some food with you? So, if you’re looking for something to do, why not take a trip to Le Paradis de la Biere, pick up a 6-pack of some of the world’s best beer, and take a walk down to the nearby Parc Jeanne-Meance and try them out. What could be better?

Palais de la Biere (also known as Super Marché Rahman), 151 Laurier O, H2T 2N6, (514) 279-2566

Open 8am-11pm, every day of the week.

:: Montreal’s Best Irish Pubs

7 out



September 8, 2009

The Irish pubs of Montreal are some of my favourite places to experience the city’s nightlife scene. Though this city may be home to a wealth of high-end spots to get fancy cocktails, if you’re looking for a simple, friendly place to get a pint of beer and some great pub food, Montreal has you covered…


You may be surprised to learn the extent of Montreal’s connection to Ireland. When the Great Irish Famine hit the Emerald Isle, large numbers of Irish immigrants made their way to the new world, many of whom settled both in Montreal and the surrounding area. Many of them became the laborers who helped build the Lachine Canal and the Victoria Bridge, but they also became involved politics and publishing.

It’s perhaps not all that surprising that they were received well by the French Canadians – both groups were Catholic and both groups (this part is largely anecdotal) enjoy a good drink, song and a party. For proof, look no further than Montreal’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade, which was established in 1824 and remains one of the largest in the world (not to mention, a heck of a good time).

As someone named Brendan Murphy, who has both Canadian and Irish citizenship, I feel I am perfectly suited to be your guide to some of the city’s best Irish Pubs…


McKibbin’s Irish Pub: A very authentic slice of Ireland located in downtown Montreal (where the majority of the city’s Irish pubs are located). Boasting three separate bars, this spot is always jumping and is standing room only on St. Patty’s. 1426 rue Bishop, H3G 2E6, (514) 288-1580‎

Hurley’s Irish Pub: A personal favourite, Hurley’s is a darkly lit, winding labyrinth of small rooms and intimate seats tucked into secluded corners. They’ve got great draft beers on tap, including some harder-to-find varieties like Murphy’s and Harp, and their food is delicious and wholly authentic. Try the Guinness beef stew. 225 rue Crescent, H3G 2B1, (514) 861-4111‎

The Old Dublin: Great live music and 50 different single malts. I think that covers it. 636 Cathcart, H3B 1L9, (514) 861-4448‎

Mclean’s: This is largely just your standard pub, but with a draft list which has over 17 different types and includes some Irish faves, it deserves a mention. And hey, pool, poker and wing nights are universally beloved. 1210 rue Peel, H3B 2T6, (514) 392-7770‎

Irish Embassy: A relative newcomer to the pub scene, this large, sprawling spot boasts a sleek yet comfortable décor and huge flat screen TVs everywhere. They’ve got a great patio, very popular 5-a-7s and food that ranges from pub grub to the more fancy daily specials. 1234 rue Bishop, H3G 2E3, (514) 875-8777‎

Ye Olde Orchard: If you’re looking for something in a different neighbourhood, Ye Olde Orchard, located in the up-and-coming Monkland Village, is the spot for you. A very popular meeting spot, this pub boasts a very fun staff, a good beer selection and above-average food.5563 avenue De Monkland, H4A 1E1, (514) 484-1569‎