After a cool six years, the Mount Stephen Club is back open, as boutique hotel Le Mount Stephen — and right inside the heritage building is Bar George. It comes from Toronto’s Oliver & Bonacini restaurant group (Canoe, Bannock), with much-loved Montrealer-turned-Torontonian Anthony Walsh at the helm as executive chef. The focus is modern British fare, dusted with “Québécois humour”.
The re-opening of the former elite gentleman’s club has been a lengthy process: the announcement of Bar George may only have been 18 months ago, but the hotel developer (Tidan) first acquired the building in 2006. In 2011 the private club was shuttered for the developer to start work on the hotel. The heritage former club — considered by the feds as “the best example of a Renaissance Revival house in Canada” — is the centrepiece of the building, but Tidan added a 12-level annex behind it, to house both a parking lot and hotel rooms.
It turned out that protecting the heritage building amidst that construction was challenging, with the building’s structural issues dating back to well before Tidan took ownership of it (it didn’t help that the provincial government knew this but stayed quiet about it).
In any case, the heritage structure is now good to go, housing the 200-seat restaurant. As a hotel eatery, it’ll be open from breakfast through late-night (including weekend brunch). The menu items that have been teased fit the British-but-not-stodgy theme neatly: Scotch eggs with St-Canut porcelet and turnip rémoulade, a crumpet with Earl Grey salmon, kipper butter, and rollmops (pickled herring), as well as veal cheek and kidney pie with stout, wild mushrooms, sweet peas, and kohlrabi. Here’s a full look at the menu.
The hints of Britain continue on the bar side — Maxime Boivin (ex-Safehouse) and the creative Drahos Chytry (Bishop and Bagg) have new creations like a twist on a sour with gin, St-Germain elderflower, liqueur, cider, lemon, and egg. Wines (while obviously not British) will skew European.
It’s a swanky space (see below) — and the prices reflect it. While some small plates or snacks come in under $10, main plates go up much higher ($35 for the aforementioned pie); cocktails ring up around $13-14.
And as an added bonus, here’s a look inside the hotel portion — Le Mount Stephen.
STATUS — Bar George is open day and night as of Tuesday, May 2 at 1440 Drummond St in downtown Montreal.
- Bar George Preps For May Opening in New Mount Stephen Hotel [EMTL]
- Makeover for Montreal's Iconic Mount Stephen Club Includes Toronto Restaurant Group
- Mixing Cocktails Onstage in Miami: Two Montreal Bartenders Are Doing It [EMTL]
- Mount Stephen Club's structural problems date back at least 15 years: documents [EMTL]
- Bar George [Official]