It's just another notch on Montreal hospitality impresario David Schmidt's good times belt: Victoria Pier. What could be better than a cool bar, amazing food, sand, sun and (sort of) surf, right here in the city? That's right, a real beach bar on an actual beach. But Victoria Pier is honestly a super close second and is located right below that big white clock tower in the old port.
Run by SaintWoods, the creative group behind Suwu and apt200, and Mile End Hospitality (Sardine, Maïs, Datcha and Le Mal Necessaire), Schmidt and his team help oversee general food, bar and entertainment operations. "Victoria Pier is the original name of the pier the beach was built on", Schmidt explains.
With a retro Miami beach vibe, live dj sets and a perfect pastel striped bar, there are lounge chairs and tables set in the sand overlooking the St-Lawrence river. Although there's no water access (which may not be a bad thing), plans for a pool built on top of the water are in the works. The good news is there's misters and outdoor showers to cool off with so wearing your bathers is totally appropriate attire.
What's more, the food team is headed by Dan Geltner, (ex chef of L'Orignal) and includes summertime staples like watermelon and feta salad, nachos, guac and salsa, jerk chicken, fish and chips and lobster rolls. "We're going to have guest chef events, lamb roasts and industry nights", elaborates Schmidt. "We can also add an oyster and lobster roll bar on the beach for busier nights".
If you've ever been to any of Schmidt's other establishments, you'll know that he takes his cocktails very seriously. Victoria Pier is no different. "Drinks are classic summertime cocktails", says Schmidt. "Mojitos, sangria, slushes and an ice cone cart that sells alcoholic snow cones like watermelon and tequila. We also do a cooler service where you get a cooler with all the fixings to make your own cocktails on the beach, like a Tom Collins cooler or Mojito cooler."
[Photo: Menu at Victoria Pier - Robb Jamieson]
Although it's open to everyone from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. it's strictly 18 years and over. And if it's raining, chances are Victoria Pier is closed so it's best to check their Facebook page before heading down.
So if you're looking for that picture perfect terrasse, a pretty unbeatable view of the fireworks competition, or even just a nice place to relax, put your feet in the sand and feel like you're on vacation, Victoria Pier is a summer spot worth checking out.