Bar Social Verdun, a new neighbourhood bar, is set to open early December on Wellington Street in Verdun.
It’s the latest from Eric Lefrancois, Alex Lejeune and Jesse Lee Fafard, the team behind versatile Saint-Henri spot Bar de Courcelle, and Little Burgundy cocktail hub Drinkerie Ste Cunégonde, now five and six years old respectively.
Not only is Vic Lamontagne, a long-time bartender at Drinkerie, set to manage the new location— she’s building and co-designing the new space.
“We want something that looks unlike anywhere else,” explains Lamontagne from her nearby woodwork atelier, while clamping together pieces of maple.
Verdun’s nightlife is still in its infancy: it was only in 2014 that the borough started to grant bar permits to a few local establishments for the first time in a century. Until that point, any establishment had to hold a restaurant license, meaning that anybody wanting to drink alcohol also had to buy food. (Brewpub Benelux was the one exception, due to archaic laws that allowed it to operate as a bar because its beer was brewed within the borough.)
With the help of Fafard and others, Lamontagne has spent weeks assembling and finishing the furnishings, including twenty small tables, two long communal tables and a giant sixty-foot central island bar.
Given her experience behind the bar, she paid particular attention to the layout of the space. For Lamontagne, the opportunity to construct her own bar “ties together so many different passions— bar tending, woodworking, design. It's the dream project.”
Bar Social Verdun is designed to be convivial— or as the name suggests, sociable. “Having a central bar is conducive to a more communal dynamic,” Lamontagne explains. “That’s where the life is.”
The large, fully-renovated interior is eclectically decorated, featuring murals and custom metal work by Verdun artists.
Bar Social Verdun’s drink menu focuses on classic cocktails and craft beer from Bromont craft brewers, the West Shefford Brewing Company.
On the food side, a menu will centre around roast chicken, plus a rotating menu of complementary seasonally inspired side dishes.
“We want to surprise people with the quality of our food,” says co-owner Eric Lefrancois. But the real attraction, he insists, will be the festive ambience.