Here’s a seasonal surprise for Montreal’s bar scene: the folks behind Old Montreal favourite Le Club Chasse et Pêche are opening up a Mile End tavern today (December 20) alongside a prominent Quebec author.
It’s called La Taverne du Pélican and takes the place of the former L’Autre Bar on Laurier Avenue, just near Parc. It comes from owners of Le Club Chasse et Pêche (CCeP), Le Filet, Le Serpent, and Il Miglio — that’s Claude Pelletier and Hubert Marsolais. They’re joined by young Quebec author Stéphane Larue, known for his novel Le Plongeur (set in a restaurant, no less — and it’s in the process of being adapted as a film), as well as Benjamin Langlois (from Le Filet) and Hugo Casavant — five co-owners in total.
In a message to Eater, Marsolais describes it as something pretty different for the CCeP crew — a “low key bar” with a focus on cheap drinks, and tavern or dive bar-style service, and 5 à 7 “booze bargains”. There will be carefully selected sports events or funny flicks on-screens in the venue, and an eclectic, wide-ranging music choice (although light on electronic tunes); bar food is slated to start in mid-January. In short, it’s a promising neighbourhood bar. (Marsolais says even the name was selected to give a welcoming feel.)
The space itself has plenty of history — Marsolais notes that in the 1940s and ‘50s, it was a “Québécois fortress” in a heavily Jewish enclave. Prominent poet Claude Gauvreau and separatist politician René Lévesque were among the regulars when it was named La Taverne de la Veuve Wilson, and singer Ginette Reno lived above it. The bar will encapsulate some of that history with artefacts amongst its decor: the bar’s Instagram is showcasing some of that history, and there’s even a lovely throwback logo.
It has been a big year for the CCeP owners — with the addition of casual pasta spot Il Miglio in the summer and now Pélican, they’ve pivoted towards Mile End as their main neighbourhood (Le Filet also sits on the edge of it) with two new openings.
STATUS — La Taverne du Pélican is open as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday December 20 at 278 Laurier West. It’s open seven days from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m., but will be closed December 24 and 25, and December 31 through January 2.
- La Taverne du Pélican [Instagram]
- Il Miglio Brings Fresh Pasta to Mile End Starting This Week [EMTL]