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Chinatown’s Luwan Up For Sale

The owner says family takes priority in his life

Luwan Bar
Luwan / Lotus Photography

One of Chinatown’s recently-added and slightly-tropical cocktail mainstays Luwan is going onto the real estate market — but it’s not yet clear whether it will stay open as-is, change format or possibly just vanish.

Owner Raphael Kerwin tells Eater that given personal events, Luwan is falling by the wayside.

“My partner's young, he wants to travel, I have a baby so I don't want to be up until 4 a.m. every night.”

Kerwin said he’s hoping to get the bar out of his hands by the beginning of November — and that he’s not picky about who it goes to.

“In terms of who really takes it over, I don't really care. It has the best liquor license you can get, it's in a tourist district so you can get any permit you want,” he explained.

“It's a great deal for someone who wants to take over a bar and run it as their first bar, but also for someone experienced who wants to gut it.”

The bar pulled its hours back to just Friday and Saturday several months ago due to Kerwin’s time crunch. Kerwin said that despite the shortened hours, the bar has been doing well, reiterating that the sale is purely about freeing up his own time.

“There's no infractions, we have big parties booked. In two days we're doing the Vice staff party for 200 people. We still have events that pack it out. I have no problem opening up the books and showing people that.”

There’s no word on the price, although Kerwin did say it would be a good deal, at only 60 to 70 cents for every dollar he paid when Luwan started.

While Kerwin also owns Blue Dog Motel on St-Laurent Boulevard, he is only divesting himself of Luwan.


1050, rue Clark, Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1K3