There’s a new dining and a new drinking destination on Notre-Dame West in St-Henri as of this week, with Old Montreal restaurant Venice arriving, bringing a next-door bar, Paper Plane, with it.
The duo take over the former spaces of Ludger and Magdalena, both of which closed in June after Venice bought them out for the new projects.
Venice takes the former Ludger location on the corner of du Couvent, and will do lunch, dinner, and brunches. It’s following closely in the footsteps of the first two Venices (in Old Montreal and on Beaver Hall downtown) — owner Charles Manceau tells Eater that the menus are the same, focusing on health-conscious Californian leaning fare: avocado toast, salads, fusion tacos, and Hawaiian poke bowls.
Inside, there’s a beachy feel, with bright tones, surfboards, and skateboards, evocative of the restaurant’s namesake, Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Outside, a new mural on du Couvent has been painted over Ludger’s artwork — a move that caused a minor stir in a community Facebook group, because a major part of the mural featured architect Ludger Lemieux, known for designing many prominent buildings in the neighbourhood such as the Atwater Market — although the mural obviously served as branding for the restaurant Ludger, too.
Next door in the space that was formerly wine bar Magdalena is Paper Plane — Manceau likens it to Boho, the bar he opened next to the original Old Montreal Venice.
“It’s not a club, there’s no bottle service, it’s a good time, good vibes, it’s super accessible for everybody.”
That means a range of cocktails priced at a reasonable $10, alongside wines ranging from $30 to $60 per bottle. Food from Venice will eventually be available in the bar, too. Some of the stylish art-déco details from the former inhabitant remain in the bar, although its colour scheme has been reworked to a darker, more sultry tone.
Manceau isn’t quite done with the double-storefront on Notre-Dame: he’s planning to open another bar beneath Venice. Taking a similar approach to Clandestino (his tequila/mezcal bar beneath Old Montreal’s Boho), it’ll focus on one spirit: rum, with over 100 varieties on hand. It’ll be named Broken Coconut and should arrive in late August — stay tuned.
STATUS — Venice is open at 4001 Notre-Dame W from 5 to 11 p.m. this week, and then 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily starting next week. Paper Plane is open right next door from 5 p.m. daily until late.