The mid-Plateau has a homey new day and night spot right at the heart of the Main — Darling is its name, and it comes from Richard Holder, the man partially behind other popular spots in the borough, including Le Majestique, and Waverly in Mile End.
Darling takes over the space where bar and salle de spectacle Les Bobards used to be (St-Laurent and Marie-Anne), until a breach of lease forced it shut in late 2015. When Eater first reported the project last summer, it was billed as a sister bar to Majestique.
That’s not entirely the case still (some principals from Majestique are involved, others aren’t), but in any case Darling is still quite the complementary venue to Majestique, explains design consultant on Darling, Thomas Csano.
“It’s really a place about beer — if you think about Majestique it’s more about small portions, a wine place, here it’s more like a brasserie, tavern, a cafe. A beer and cider house.”
And beer there is — 11 on tap, to be precise, including three from Shawinigan microbrewery Trou du Diable, on top of some more standard McAuslan offerings in what is a well-rounded selection.
There’s also a glorious rarity in Montreal: cider on tap — three to be precise, all from St-Cécile-de-Milton orchard Les Vergers de la Colline, as well as a sparkling honey wine from Ferme Desrochers. Prices max out at a very reasonable six dollars for all tapped offerings.
Darling has been open a few days now but with only the café side up and running, so if you dropped by that bar side would not have been an option. But as of Wednesday night, booze is a-go-go.
Food options are set to arrive this weekend — Darling is sticking to bar eats like charcuterie and cheese plates, olives and antipasto, but Csano says there’s plans to add to the food options at a later date, with space already set aside for a kitchen.
As for the space — it definitely isn’t Les Bobards anymore. Csano says the design definitely looks back to the 1930s, the era when the space was first built.
“It’s a little bit of art déco, industrial and steampunk.”
“I wanted to go back to that feel of a classic bar that could have been open since the 30s that has evolved through time — a few antiques, curiosity pieces in there.”
Courtesy of intrepid Instagrammers who made it out to Darling in its early coffee days, take a look at its cozy space.
STATUS — Darling is now open at 4328 St-Laurent (corner Marie-Anne) from 8 a.m. right through to 3 a.m., seven days.