Wolf & Workman pub, the brainchild of the established Burgundy Lion Group and co-owners Chef Louis-Philippe, James Hung and Sean-Michael McCaffrey, is set to open mid-way through March in an expansive space at 139 St-Paul Ouest — in the team’s first venture into the Old Port’s growing bar scene.
Like Burgundy Lion and Bishop & Bagg, Wolf & Workman’s menu will consist primarily of high-end pub cuisine inspired by the servings of London’s best taverns. While the dish list, put together by Camerlain, is not quite set in stone, he and his team are tentatively looking at serving modern takes on classic English meat dishes like Oxtail Cottage Pie, Beef Tartare, and Jalfrezi chicken, alongside a smattering of traditional pub snacks, like New England Chowder Fries and a Wolf & Workman burger.
The pub will also serve “three or four” specials per day, and will update its menu seasonally to showcase local ingredients, according to Toby Lyle, co-founder of the Burgundy Lion group.
Their drink list — which Lyle says will be heavy in spirits — will also consist primarily of locally-sourced products, on top of the occasional British import, in keeping with the bar’s theme. According to Lyle, their location in Old Montreal gives Wolf & Workman the unique opportunity to flaunt Quebec’s best liquor to a patronage consisting largely of out-of-towners.
“We really wanna be able to showcase some of the great Quebec products coming up,” Lyle says. “Being in Old Montreal gives us an opportunity to not just showcase it to locals, but it gives us an opportunity to introduce tourists and people from further afield to Quebec products, whether it be beer, spirits, or farmers’ local produce.”
And they shouldn’t have much trouble attracting both tourists and locals alike into Wolf & Workman’s vast space, which was built in the 1830’s and seats close to 150 indoors, with room for an additional 55 in an interior courtyard garden they plan to open during warmer months.
In fact, it was stumbling upon this attractive location that pushed Lyle and partners to open Wolf & Workman in the first place. His team hadn’t been planning to open a third pub while running two already successful ones — but when they serendipitously encountered the spot, they knew it was time to take on a new project.
“The locale came about and was so perfectly a pub,” Lyle says. “We fell in love with it right away. And we have such a good team of former managers and managers around us, and people who came on board and partners in the business, that we weren’t worried whatsoever.”
But this is far from Lyle and his teams’ first foray into Old Montreal. One of the two locations in the Burgundy Lion groups’ micro-chain of casual fish n’ chips restaurants, Brit & Chips, has been operating for nine years just a few blocks away from the forthcoming Wolf & Workman space.
With their experience running this family-friendly restaurant in the old part of town under their belts, Lyle says he’s looking forward to contributing to the neighbourhoods’ growing nightlife scene.
“Old Montreal five, ten years ago, used to be the spot that tourists went to, and more and more and more it’s a place for people to go out, a destination for people to go out,” Lyle says. “As far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier down there, because more options for people only brings more people.”
Update: Wolf & Workman will begin offering family-style dining within a month of their opening, with reservations available for groups of at least six. The menu for group dining is expected to include roast beef, full roasted piglets, and sides.