A new salle de spectacles and event space arrives in Montreal today, as the Diving Bell Social Club (Club Social Le Scaphandre) opens on the Plateau Friday (August 31).
New music venues seem like a rarity these days; notable venues like Les Bobards and Le Divan Orange went out of business in recent years (the latter not helped by an aggressive campaign of noise complaints against it), while café and concert spot Le Cagibi was forced to move due to rent hikes, losing its ability to host shows in the process.
Diving Bell is setting up shop on the top level of a building on St-Laurent Boulevard, joining sports bar Champs and clubby bar Blizzarts at the same address. While no images of the inside of the space have been shared yet, it has a solid capacity of 200, filling the sweet spot for musicians between very large, often expensive theatres and poky rooms with so-so sound systems (some of which are not always very legal).
Cult Montreal reports that Blizzarts co-owner Evan Johnston snapped up the space (which had sat empty for two years). While Blizzarts is more of an open-til-3 a.m. party spot, Diving Bell is more likely to host bands in the earlier hours of the evening.
The venue will also be open to miscellaneous community events — it is set to host a bazaar once a month on weekends (the first one is over the Labour Day long weekend), and will be a venue for music festival Pop Montreal later in September. But for opening day, there’s an art pop-up happening, which will transition to drinks and DJs as the evening arrives.
STATUS — Diving Bell Social Club is open at 3956 St-Laurent. The opening party runs 11 a.m. to midnight Friday August 31, and its inaugural monthly bazaar runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (September 1 and 2); for future openings and events, see the venue’s calendar.