First there was Tommy. Now another historic Old Montreal landmark is on the verge of a partial café makeover. The target this time is the peerless Royal Bank tower at 360 Saint-Jacques Ouest, which will soon house a new office and coffee shop, open to the public, from Crew, a freelancer marketplace that began at startup accelerator FounderFuel.
Here now, some valuable intel on the concept from Crew's Joseph MacNeil: "We've grown a lot, and needed a new office to fit all of us. However, instead of doing the typical startup office, we're going to be opening a café open to the public, which will feature super-fast (free) WiFi, silence pods (for doing focused work), as well as amazing coffee. Fifty-foot-high ceilings, 12,000 square feet of space, which, unless I'm mistaken, means it will be the biggest café in Montreal (and probably the prettiest, too)." Café Saint-Henri will stock the new café with beans, and Alex Ragoussis, late of Flyjin Café and Au Pied de Cochon, will helm the bar. Principals hope to open by April.
More on the tower's history from current management: "In 1907, the Royal Bank of Canada moved its headquarters from Halifax to Montreal, but in 1926, feeling cramped, it decided to build this skyscraper (the tallest in the British Empire), an expression of all its opulence and prosperity. Construction from 1926 to 1928. In 1962, the Royal Bank moved to Place Ville-Marie, but kept a branch on Saint-Jacques [until 2010]."