Drinking and dining options at the Bell Centre are getting a major shake-up, as its management has just announced a new food hall and lounge for the downtown hockey arena and concert venue — both of which have just opened.
The main addition to the Bell Centre is M2 Marché, a food hall comprised of eight counters or restaurants. Representatives say that food will be cooked to order (as opposed to the Centre’s concession stands at present, which mostly offer pre-cooked food kept in warmers). While exact menu details haven’t been provided yet, images provided to Eater suggest that menu items will keep casual, ranging from burgers and tacos to sushi and poke bowls. The food options are joined by an “experiential bar” (in the words of Bell Centre reps) — it’ll serve craft beers with 16 options on tap, cocktails, and wine by the glass.
Beyond the food hall, a new lounge named Mythik has also arrived, taking over the former Musée des Canadiens space. The 250-seat space will feature cocktails, small plates, with the apparent aim of offering a more comfortable hang-out spot for before games or shows within the Bell Centre proper.
Details on the menu for Mythik are also scarce, but it seems that the Bell Centre is trying to significantly boost its food credentials — arena officials are highlighting their in-house chef Yves Lowe as the person behind the upcoming fancier options. Lowe comes with experience mostly in hotels around Montreal, including the W; he also founded the Place d’Armes Hotel’s in-house Japanese restaurant Kyo.
At present, the Bell Centre’s concession stands offer a pretty darn greasy selection of hot dogs, poutine, smoked meat, and pizza — uninspiring to the point that Eater has previously recommended that hungry people should eat somewhere outside the arena. Historically, alcohol choices have also been rather limited, sticking mostly to big beer options, no doubt due to the fact that the Molsons (of beer money fame) also own the Montreal Canadiens and the arena itself. Of course, the new restaurants and bars are all going to be managed in a rather corporate manner, even if it seems that there’s a newfound commitment to quality.
Beyond the concessions, the Bell Centre does have an on-site restaurant, the so-called “gastronomique” La Mise au Jeu — it seems the changes are aimed at filling the yawning gap between that option and the concession stands. There’s also sports bar La Cage on site, and on top of that, the Habs-owned mega-restaurant Taverne Moderne 1909 is right next door. It claimed to be the largest restaurant in Canada when it opened in 2017 — it’s unclear whether the newly beefed-up dining and drinking options will inadvertently compete with the “sports bar but fancy” approach at that venue.
Both Marché M2 and Mythik are open from 5 p.m. on game days or concert nights, starting right away.