The Montreal outpost of SpiritHouse is done. The swanky, Toronto-based cocktail bar concept from entrepreneur Len Fragomeni reportedly cleared out the premises yesterday. A staffer has confirmed the shutter.
SpiritHouse opened last November, buoyed by much enthusiasm. Jean-Sébastien Michel, the owner of barware accessory store Alambika, and a close observer of the Montreal bar scene, wrote at the time that he "loved the place. Not too fancy, genuine, killer cocktails and spirits menu. They snatched the cream of the crop in terms of staff and management. Lovely, really." The bar, however, never quite took off, though it can be debated that it deserved more time to prove itself in a competitive neighbourhood rife with other bars and restaurants. A source reported today that business quieted over the last couple of months, as it apparently did for other bars on the Notre-Dame and Saint-Jacques strips in Old Montreal, amid the summer focus on Saint-Paul and the Old Port area. Staff was warned last week that the bar's days were potentially numbered—a reality that became apparent when SpiritHouse did not open on Saturday.