It began as a weekly pop-up event at an apartment on Frontenac street, organized by a group of friends with no prior bar experience, for lovers of vintage arcade and console video games. Almost two years later, and fueled by enviable word of mouth and media coverage, Arcade MTL is now a brick-and-mortar business. The bar-arcade, inspired by the likes of Brooklyn's (trademarked) Barcade, is now open, after months of advance publicity, in the bygone Quartier Latin bar and salle de spectacle Exit/Café Chaos.
Arcade MTL's principals include the concept's primary trio of Dominic Bourret, Martin Hébert, and Elie Rodrigue. Two other partners, Sébastien Lavallière and Éric Le François (Chez Victoire, Taverne Normand, Drinkerie Ste-Cunégonde, Philémon Bar, Taverne Saint-Sacrement, Bar Courcelle, Edgar Hyperlodge, Notkins, Pub West Shefford, Brasserie West Shefford, and Laurea), add oodles of bar management experience to the project. Crucially, Lavallière and Le François co-owned Exit, Arcade MTL's predecessor.
A $5 entrance fee gives patrons unlimited access to about fifteen retro games at Arcade MTL. With Nexus Smart Bar, Le Randolph Pub Ludique, and the Chez Geeks store all close by, management hopes the Quartier Latin will develop into a hub for Montreal's gamer community.
Status: Arcade MTL, 2031 Saint-Denis, now open Tuesday to Sunday.