OLD MONTREAL — Here’s some, uh, “small” news: what could be the smallest bar in the country is now open (while this claim to fame hasn’t been definitively verified, it certainly doesn’t seem like there are any physically smaller establishments in Canada). Clocking in at just 150 square feet, El Pequeño comes from the same owners as top cocktail spot Cold Room, and is located next to that bar’s door on St-Vincent Street. The space might be small, but principal Kevin Demers and team have come through on their promise to give a stylish Old Havana feel, complete with chandelier and marble. The cocktails are a mix of three Cuban classics and three new creations (all are rum-based), and the bar is also offering Cuban sandwiches as its sole edible item. Get in early: there’s room for a whopping nine people (not counting staff) in the converted souvenir store space — it’s open noon to 2 a.m. daily.
KAHNAWAKE — It’s shaping up to be a good year for new microbreweries in the Greater Montreal area (see also: newcomers 4 Origines and À La Fut). Now Kahnawake has welcomed its first beer-maker in the form of Kahnawake Brewing Co. Open a few weeks now, the brewery with a taproom on-site has around eight beers on taps (checking a variety of boxes from Belgian whites to blonde, American Pale Ale, and IPAs), and a menu laden with pizza. The new brewery also led to Kahnawake, a Mohawk reserve, to establish clear laws for craft brewing within its boundaries to allow for the brewpub (reserves are not subject to provincial liquor laws, and can instead establish their own). Open from noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday, and 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Note: Kahnawake Brewing was originally named Black Bridge Brewing Co., but was forced to change names due to overlap with a Saskatchewan company by the same name.
OLD MONTREAL — Here’s one more “secret” bar to throw on the pile of recent arrivals: Le Couvent has arrived in a former convent on McGill Street (hence the name), with plush fixtures and large images of nuns to watch slightly disapprovingly as you drink. Expect cocktails that lean classic (Old Fashioneds, martinis), and a menu with options like grilled cheese and pâté chinois. It’s open 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
VILLAGE — Lastly, chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard’s wine-leaning casual spot Le Petit Mousso is still in the works, but its opening has been bumped back to June. Read all the details here.