Back in June, it was revealed that Montreal would be getting its first cereal bar (as the name suggests, it’s a venue focused on selling breakfast cereal) — now as of this weekend, Barley is open on the corner of Notre-Dame and Charlevoix in Little Burgundy.
Other media outlets picked up on the news as the opening approached, with the Montreal Gazette comparing Barley to London’s Cereal Killer Café, which drew criticism from anti-gentrification protesters in the UK city. But that comparison might not be fair, as there’s more to Barley than just pouring cereal into bowls (which was more or less the modus operandi of the London establishment).
Barley has a full coffee operation, with wifi and ample seating in a smooth-looking space Gauley Brothers, in an area with only a couple of solid coffee shops that allow for working (see also: September and Café St-Henri). They’ve also got a menu of smoothie bowls with house-made granola mixes:
- A regular honey-almond
- A loaded-up, fruitier option: dried fig, almond, maple, dried apricot, pumpkin seeds, ginger, spices, and espelette pepper
- A more health-conscious bowl with coconut oil, hemp protein powder, quinoa puffs, hemp and chia seeds, coconut, and almonds
- A sweet tooth granola with salted butter dark chocolate granola (70% cocoa), a little white chocolate, and cashews
In a play on the “cereal” thing, Barley also has four grain-based salads, alongside fruit parfaits, cookies from Felix & Norton, and a pastry selection. Plus, as owner Soufian Mamlouk told Eater, there will be regular cereal bowls, with a focus on cereals unavailable in Canada — Frankenberry, for example.
Such cereals will be available in non-bowl form, too: courtesy of Barley’s soft-serve machine, a McFlurry-like cereal creation will be offered.
Mamlouk has a host of plans for Barley in future: with the city’s permission, there should be a Halloween opening party in the small park adjacent to the café. Given the sizable space, artists or designers will be able to exhibit there, and Mamlouk is hoping to make custom cup sleeves with those who exhibit. He’s also affiliated with food truck Damon, and suggested that in future he might try to get some of Barley’s offerings into a food truck format — possibly with the truck serving Barley’s fare by day and Damon’s in the evenings (this would have to wait until the next food truck season, as long as city permits allow it).
STATUS — Barley Bar à Céréales is open at 2613 Notre-Dame West, Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; hours may expand in future.
- Meet Little Burgundy’s Incoming Cereal Bar [EMTL]
- Montreal's getting its first cereal bar, and it may not be that bad for you [Montreal Gazette]
- Barley Bar à Céréales [Facebook]