It took longer than expected, but Verdun’s bar scene has finally expanded a little, with Irish pub Le Trèfle (the Clover) now open on Wellington at 2nd Avenue.
The pub has been established in the East End on Ontario Street for several years now. It’s an odd outlier from the downtown Irish pub “district” around Bishop Street — but has built up a reputation for no-BS pub grub and a substantial beer offering, including plenty of craft options. The food in Verdun goes beyond the typical nachos and burgers, with oysters and tartare among the menu items. In short, while Irish pubs can feel notoriously carbon-copy-esque, and the sophistication level certainly isn’t for everybody, Le Trèfle is one case where it feels like substantial effort has been channeled into crafting something decent.
It’s all the more surprising, given that Le Trèfle is effectively a small chain, based well outside the city: the original opened in Trois-Rivières around ten years ago, with the Hochelaga edition opening in 2014. There’s also one in the Quebec City neighbourhood of Limoilou. There’s a little bit of star power here, too — Quebec comic actor Rémi-Pierre Paquin is one of several principals behind all Les Trèfles.
Bars are still a relative rarity in Verdun: Le Trèfle is number four for the entire borough, following Bar Social, which opened last winter, and longer-running bars Palco and Benelux — but cheer up, Verdun: with Quebec nixing rules that require restaurant customers to purchase food with alcohol, every restaurant could soon be a bar, even if that’s not what the restaurateurs might say.
STATUS — Le Trèfle is open at 4718 Wellington from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily.